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Hybrid Catalytic Systems for Sustainable Chemical Processing

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr X Wang
    Dr D Vega-Maza
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Catalysis plays a critical role in modern society, where 90% of all chemical processes involve heterogeneous catalysts. Nevertheless, heterogeneous and biological catalysis is still considered as one of the top 24 challenges in chemistry when asking “what’s next”. This project, related to such a fundamental challenge, proposes the innovative use of heterogeneous catalysts (supported metals, photo-catalysts) in tandem with biotransformation for sustainable chemical processes.
Example applications may include using renewable biomass (e.g. furfural) as feedstock for chemicals production; converting CO2 (Greenhouse Gas) to useful chemicals (e.g. methanol); the synthesis of chiral compounds as drug intermediates; through the development of hybrid (heterogeneous, photocatalytic and/or enzymatic) catalytic systems.
The project will involve catalyst synthesis, characterisation and testing; reaction kinetics/thermodynamics, mechanism investigation and coupling and integration of reactions.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering.

Knowledge of: Heterogeneous and enzymatic catalysis, reaction engineering, physical chemistry, catalyst characterisation, kinetic/thermodynamic analysis.

Formal applications can be completed online:
• Apply for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
• State the name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Leverhulme CDT in Sustainable Production of Chemicals and Materials’ as the Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

Further information on the Leverhulme Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Production of Chemical and Material can be found at:

Funding Notes

Leverhulme Doctoral Scholars will receive maintenance costs at Research Council rates and tuition fees at the rate for UK/EU students. In 2018-19 the maintenance grant for full-time students was £14,777 per annum. International applicants who can pay the difference between the Home and International Fees would also be welcome to apply.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit.

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