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Functionalised Metal-Organic Framework Adsorbents and Hybrid Membranes for Challenging Gas Separations

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Metal organic frameworks belong to the family of coordination polymers with extremely high specific surface areas surpassing that of traditional adsorbents such as zeolites and activated carbon. MOFs are hybrid materials comprised of organic linker molecules and metal ions or clusters and owing to the vast diversity of linkers, nodes, and topologies, metal organic frameworks can be tailored for specific tasks, such as chemical separations and gas adsorption. The goal of this PhD project is to design, synthesise, and characterise novel engineered metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and polymer hybrid membranes for challenging gas separations (e.g., CO2 separation, CO/N2 and olefin/paraffin separation), and investigate the structure and properties of membranes by a range of characterisation techniques. In terms of MOF design the role of the MOF metallic sites, MOF ligands functionalization, MOF crystal structure and, MOF flexibility will be evaluated for target gas separation. The most promising MOFs will be incorporated in either polymeric or ceramic supports. In order to prepare hybrid membranes, different novel preparation methods will be developed and explored. PhD student will analyse the results to determine the mechanisms of separations and propose ways to optimise the design and synthesis of the adsorbents and hybrid membranes. Overall this project will provide excellent experience for the prospective student in a diverse range of areas including materials chemistry and chemical engineering, nanoporous materials, advanced characterisation techniques, gas separation and adsorption technology and working in a unique collaborative academic industrial partnership.

The successful applicant will also be a part of the University of Bath’s Centre for Advanced Separations Engineering (, which has the largest number of academics in the UK focussed on Separation Science and Engineering. The Centre creates a stimulating, friendly and positive working environment where you can work with colleagues with complementary expertise. The project can also involve European research collaboration and chance for the candidate to benefit from international research exchange programs.

The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters degree (first class or upper second-class) or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent) with a background in chemistry, chemical/materials engineering or relevant discipline. Applicants will need to demonstrate strong self-motivation, ability to think analytically and creatively, good team spirit and excellent communication and writing skills.

English language requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding.

Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Salman Shahid () directly for further details.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019

Funding Notes

This project is eligible for inclusion in funding rounds scheduled for end of November 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019 and April 2019. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years. Early application is strongly recommended.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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