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Nanostructured membranes for selective toxic gas separation


Project Description

Dual-award between The University of Manchester and The University of Melbourne.

This dual-award programme offers candidates the opportunity to apply for a project with a strong supervisory team both in Manchester and in Melbourne. A dual award is a PhD programme which leads to separate awards from two partner institutions. PhD candidates will be registered at both Manchester and Melbourne and must complete all of the requirements of the PhD programme in both the home and partner university.

PhD candidates will begin their PhD in Manchester and will then spend at least 12 months in Melbourne. The amount of time spent at Manchester and Melbourne will be dependent upon the project and candidates will work with their supervisory team in the first year to set out the structure of the project.

Project Description:
The global chemical industry is facing a crisis in dealing with polluting emissions and the resulting environmental impact. This PhD programme is focused on solving these problems through the development of innovative membranes and membrane processes. Membrane technology is transforming many energy and industrial processes. The technology relies on the membrane material being tailored on the nanometre and sub-nanometre scale to selectively separate specific chemicals from mixtures. An underlying polymer material creates a semi-permeable barrier, which allows some chemicals to transverse while other chemicals are retained, and hence specific chemicals are safely separated. This PhD programme is to develop membrane technology for specific toxic gas separation, such as carbon monoxide removal, and to assist our industrial partners in fuel combustion, fuel cell efficiency and biofuel recovery, as well as chemical sensors. This programme will develop membranes specifically designed to sieve the toxic gas from these industrial processes. This will involve tailoring the chemical functionality and nanostructure of the underlying polymer, as well as incorporating molecular or nanoparticulate species that interact with the gas to be removed. The outcome will be an innovative membrane approach to enable the global chemical and energy industry to reduce their toxic gas emissions, with a focus on demonstrating the technology to industry for potential commercialisation.

Academic background of candidates:
Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related science.

Contact for further Information:
Prof. Peter M. Budd
Email:
Web: https://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/Peter.Budd/

Funding Notes

Funding for the programme will include tuition fees, an annual stipend (around 15,000 for 2019/20), a research training grant and student travel to Melbourne. You will spend at least 12 months at each institution and will receive a dual PhD at the end of the 3.5 year programme.

Open to UK/EU applicants only.

The programme will commence in September 2020.

References

Z.-X. Low, P.M. Budd, N.B. McKeown and D.A. Patterson, Gas permeation properties, physical aging, and its mitigation in high free volume glassy polymers, Chem. Rev., 2018, 118, 5871-5911.

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