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KESS2 Scholarship: Development of Methodologies for Conversion of Carbon Dioxide into Value Commodity Chemicals via Transition Metal Mediated Proton Shuttle Mechanisms

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  • Full or part time
    Dr G Owen
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

An exciting opportunity has arisen to contribute on a project that could have significant impact and industrial application. This is a KESS funded PhD project which takes an entirely new approach to the conversion of carbon dioxide by-product and convert it into value commodity chemicals via novel transition metal mediated proton shuttle mechanisms.

The selected candidate will apply their chemical knowledge and synthetic skills to the role and will demonstrate ambition to develop new catalytic routes for the synthesis of carbon dioxide derived commodity chemicals. The project will entail a significant amount of synthesis and catalytic work in the laboratory as well as the characterisation of various compounds. The application of the newly developed methodologies will subsequently be explored in collaboration with the industrial partner. This close collaborative partnership will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of inorganic synthesis and catalysis. It will also enhance the potential for future employment of the candidate in this or related industries.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government. The PhD project is co-sponsored by one of the world’s most innovative steel making companies, Tata Steel Strip Products, UK. The successful candidate will work closely within a chemistry research group at University of South Wales and with advisors from Tata Steel’s Port Talbot works. The project will focus on synthetic chemistry. Carbon dioxide is a major pollutant and addressing its impact on the environment is crucial for many reasons. The project will also focus on providing new strategies for the synthesis of chemicals from this waste product, initially on a small scale. It will also look at the possibilities of scaling the process to an industrial scale.

Programme of research:

One of the principal aims of this research programme will utilise proton shuttling mechanisms for the development of carbon dioxide derived chemical products. The utilisation of industrially generated carbon dioxide waste is a significant challenge and it is imperative that it is addressed with some urgency. The aims will be to trap carbon dioxide within a metallacyclic motif involving transition metals. Once in position, the former carbon dioxide molecule can be reacted further to synthesise new products. The systems will be further developed to hydrogenate the new products to methanol thus providing a synthetic route to a C1 source from carbon dioxide.
This work aims to offer a fresh approach towards the activation of carbon dioxide. It will be broken down into three main objectives. Firstly, the project will look at the synthesis of new catalysts which possess the potential for shuttling hydrogen atoms and demonstrated potential to trap and activate molecular carbon dioxide. It will the focus on the synthesis of new carbon dioxide derived carbonates which are value-added compounds and of commercial value to the company. Finally, it will look to establish methodologies in which the hydrogenation of the above carbonates to further generate methanol as a valuable C1 building block can be achieved.

How to Apply

To download an application package, please visit: specific funded studentships

For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales: [Email Address Removed] Tel: 01443 482578

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Dr Gareth Owen ([Email Address Removed]).

Further information at:

Dyddiad cau ar gyfer ceisiadau: Hanner nos Dydd Iau 5 Rhagfyr 2019
Cynhelir cyfweliadau yn ystod yr wythnos yn dechrau (i’w gadarnhau) Closing date for applications: midnight Thursday 5th December 2019
Interviews will be held w/c (TBC)

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time PhD programme and pay a stipend of circa £14k p.a. There is also around £9k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance.
The position is available from 1st January 2020 / 1st April 2020

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