A fully funded PhD studentship is available to work on the development of materials for the purification of gas streams, with application in biogas upgrading, hydrocarbon gas separation and carbon, ammonia and VOC capture.
The goal of the project is to develop efficient and economic gas purification technologies, as alternatives to the highly energy and chemical intensive multi-step operations currently in place that have a considerable contribution to GHG emissions.
The research will focus on strategies to gas purification issues in a comprehensive way with a variety of absorbents such as liquids, polymers and membranes. The objective is to design, produce, and evaluate these new materials to selectively scrub impurities, based for example in ionic liquids (ILs), deep eutectic solvents (DES), molten salts (MS), molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and cyclodextrins (CD). The materials will be tested as bulk liquid absorbents, supported or solid absorbents (to be applied in chemical looping scenarios) or as supported-liquid membranes.
This will involve a combination of organic and polymer synthesis techniques, combined with characterisation by NMR and mass spectroscopy, TGA (thermogravimetric analysis), DSC (differential scanning calorimetry), GC (gas chromatography), powder and single crystal X-ray and neutron diffraction. Gas purification ability and efficiency of new materials will be performed by headspace gas chromatography and by gas-liquid equilibria equipment within the research group.
You will be based in QUILL (the Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories), which has excellent facilities for fundamental research on ionic liquids and strong links to industry and fosters a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration in an international environment, and appreciation for both high-quality science and collegial spirit.
This studentship is fully funded for 3.5 years and covers PhD tuition fees, together with a tax-free stipend. The studentship is expected to commence in October 2020, although the start date is negotiable.
Candidates should hold or expect to gain a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree in chemistry or chemical engineering with interest in synthetic chemistry, gas handling and physical-chemistry.
For more information please contact Dr Leila Moura ([email protected]