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Fischer-Tropsch synthesis as a sustainable process for fuel and chemical production

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, January 29, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This project focuses on developing Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) as a key component of a future sustainable fuel and chemical industry. FTS can play a crucial role in ‘power-to-fuel’ or ‘power-to-chemicals’ (more widely ‘power-to-X’) schemes where excess power generated outside peak periods is used to e.g. electrolyse water producing H2 which can then be used to hydrogenated CO – generated from captured carbon dioxide – to fuels. At Sheffield, we have recently installed a pilot-scale facility for the demonstration of this gas-to-liquids technology and you will have access to that as part of this project.

In addition to lab-scale and pilot-scale studies of the FTS reaction, you will also seek to make use of the by-products of the reaction, including short- and medium chained organic acids. These are typically disposed of but can be a valuable chemical feedstock when converted by heterogeneous catalytic processes. This is an experimental based project which will involve reaction testing and analysis, using techniques such as GCMS. It is well suited to applicants with a good knowledge of chemical engineering or chemistry.

The chemicals sector underpins UK and global manufacturing. This project will provide the skills necessary to enter a range of roles in those sectors or in the broader sustainability field.

Subject-specific training will be provided on relevant techniques as well as a Doctoral development programme.

Funding Notes

Entry Requirements:
Good honours degree in chemistry, chemical engineering or a related subject.


The student will be working as part of a larger research group in a well-resourced lab dedicated to developing sustainable engineering solutions to global challenges. For further details please contact Dr. James McGregor directly via

Related Subjects

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