Advanced energy and chemical plants require new reactors and processes designed to combine high efficiency, attractive economics and reduced pollutant emissions. A possible solution to intensify the process is the combination of reaction and separation in a single unit operation. A gas-solid reactor consists of a bed filled with particles which react if exposed in a certain environment and afterward they are regenerated. Several very promising processes proposed for near-zero emission from industry (such as chemical looping or sorption technologies as well as several acid gas removal processes) are based on gas solid reactions. Most of these processes occur at high temperature and pressure, and often combine exothermic and endothermic reactions so that the proper integration will become essential to achieve high efficiency with near-zero emissions. Applicants are invited for a PhD Studentship under the supervision of Dr. Vincenzo Spallina in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science of the University of Manchester. The aim of this PhD project is to demonstrate the feasibility of gas-solid reactors for chemical process such as hydrogen and/or gas-to-liquids (e.g. methanol or ammonia), under relevant operating conditions. The project combines experimental testing, material characterisation and proof-of-concept of the technology. The candidate is expected to: i) derive the proper kinetics to be used through experimental analysis on the solid materials; ii) characterise the material using advanced techniques and understand the fundamental behaviour; iii) develop a computational model to describe the reactor behaviour; iv) test different solid materials (such as oxygen carrier) in a proper lab facility.
Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemical, Process and Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and or any other related degree. Candidates with a good background in material development, particle modelling and experimental techniques as well as good understanding of the reactor engineering concepts are desirable.