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GREENCDT Direct capture of radioactive iodine on solid adsorbents

   EPSRC CDT in Nuclear Energy - GREEN

About the Project

We are looking for an enthusiastic graduate with 1st class honours or a 2:1 in an Engineering, Materials Science or related discipline, for a 4-year funded joint PhD, as part of the Doctoral Training Centre in Growing skills for Reliable Economic Energy from Nuclear (GREEN CDT). You will join the University of Leeds Nuclear Engineering Group within the School of Chemical and Process Engineering ( As part of one of the most prominent nuclear research groups in the UK, you will have access to world leading research facilities in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as well as the opportunity to undertake an industrial research placement with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). As the UK prepares to invest in new operational nuclear power plants, industry and research organisations are looking towards the next generation of fuel recycling operations, where uranium, plutonium and other precious metals are separated. In such processes, a number of toxic gases arise from fuel dissolution, two of which are NOx and (gaseous) Iodine. Taken individually, current technologies exist that are effective, however, their combination together raises additional requirements for materials to remove these species. In addition, whatever is used to capture Iodine must lead to a suitable wasteform for final disposal, which has meant a move away from liquid scrubbers to (ideally) solid absorbents. This PhD project will work alongside leading teams within the University of Leeds and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) to investigate the next generation of solid gas-capture technologies for future fuel cycles. Specifically, we will firstly study the performance of silver impregnated zeolites for iodine removal in conjunction with NOx, and look to optimise iodine capture rates while generating solids that are safe for disposal. Secondly, there is increasing interest in developing new types of adsorbents based on metal organic frameworks (MOFs), where significant work is still required to fabricate MOFs in a suitable form for gas adsorption, which will also be a focus of the PhD. Work will additionally involve the use of unique pilot-scale gas scrubber facility available within the nuclear engineering group at Leeds.

Funding Notes

50% EPSRC Funded, 50% either School Funded or NNL

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