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EPSRC supported EngD: Microplastic-free based encapsulation

School of Chemical Engineering

Friday, September 25, 2020 Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Encapsulation is a process where particles or droplets are surrounded by a coating. The motivations can be numerous but are generally based on the active protection from its environment, its compatibilization in complex formulation and/or its controlled release. Microencapsulation of hydrophobic molecules is established, and many commercial products are available for instance in the areas of personal and home care or agriculture. Nevertheless, for these particular applications, the cargo is most likely made of non-biodegradable plastic materials. There is a customer pressure and soon a regulation change should be implemented in Europe to ban microplastic in such products. Therefore, there is an unmet need to develop a new technology which will allow to encapsulate economically a large range of active and which will be safe for formulators and end users and environmentally friendly. Moreover, depending of the application need, the release time should be tunable up to almost no release.
In this proposal, we address these challenges and would like to investigate a few strategies to overcome them on model compounds including a fungicide and a cosmetic oil to demonstrate the flexibility:

- Using organic but highly hydrolysable polymers like polyacetal or polyorthoester
- Using fully inorganic shell or inorganic/metallic shell based on, e.g. calcium carbonate or calcium phosphate.
- Using hybrid shell based on small organic molecules or polymer in combination with inorganic material

To be eligible for EPSRC funding candidates must have at least a 2(1) in an Engineering or Scientific discipline or a 2(2) plus MSc. Please email your c.v. to . For details on the Engineering Doctorate scheme visit the homepage. Deadline Sept 25 2020

Funding Notes

Tax free bursary of £ 20,700 plus fees paid

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