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Model development and simulation of novel processes for CO2 direct air capture from the atmosphere (EPS2022/39)

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Dr Mijndert van der Spek, Dr A Ozel, Dr S Garcia  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The direct capture of CO2 from the atmosphere is a technology that will become essential to combat climate change. This can be done using either liquid solvents or solid adsorbents, where the solid adsorbents seem to present a number of advantages compared to solvents. The solid sorbent materials used for direct air capture of CO2 are mostly reactive materials, such as amine enhanced silica or alumina. There are currently a handful of start-up companies worldwide, who pioneer direct air capture with the use of solid, chemical adsorbents.

Standard adsorption-desorption cycles for direct air capture have been developed and are commercialised, but the investigation of direct air capture processes is just in its infancy. This implies that there is much room to develop more efficient or fit-for-purpose adsorption processes. An established way to do this is through mathematical modelling and simulation. During the PhD, the candidate will develop these models and will use them to investigate innovative cycles, which may lead to better performance in terms of energy consumption and costs. Work is based at Heriot-Watt, but some visits to industrial/academic partners may be necessary, we collaborate with a number of direct air capture companies. If so desired and subject to the modelling progressing well, there may also be room for either lab-based studies or more system analysis studies. More information on the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions:

How to Apply

1. Important Information before you Apply

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:

(a) in ‘Study Option’

You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Chemistry PhD, Physics PhD, Chemical Engineering PhD, Mechanical Engineering PhD, Bio-science & Bio-Engineering PhD or Electrical PhD as appropriate and select September 2022 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)

(b) in ‘Research Project Information’

You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the potential supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Funding Notes

There are a number of scholarships available which offer funding from between 3 and 3.5 years at an average stipend rate of £15,000 per year.
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