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Nature-inspired strategies to optimize photoelectrocatalytic reactions

Project Description

Lead Supervisor: Dr Antonio Expósito Serrano

Project enquiries:

The continuous rise of CO2 levels in the atmosphere is one of the most serious challenges that humanity is facing. CO2 emission a major cause for global warming and it has been identified as a national climate emergency by the UK government. It is, therefore, a priority to find alternative solutions to the problem.

The catalytic transformation of CO2 into harmless products is a promising solution to this challenge. The side products of the reaction can also turn into high economic value for industries, as it is the case of liquid fuels.

However, the current technologies for catalytic CO2 transformation show low conversion values and cannot compete with natural photosynthesis that occurs in plants. Moreover, it is difficult to tune the selectivity of the reactions. As such, the goal of the proposed PhD project is to improve current catalytic CO2 transformation reactions, and in particular to enhance yield and selectivity towards worthy products. This challenge will be addressed by applying nature-inspired strategies to develop innovative photo-electro-catalysts that, by mimicking photosynthetic cells mechanisms, use sunlight to convert CO2 into valuable products.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, an undergraduate Master’s first class degree or MSc distinction (or non-UK equivalent) in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering or similar. English language entry requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding, see

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Application deadline: Wednesday 25 March 2020. Early submission is advised. A full application must be submitted before it can be reviewed for inclusion in the funding competition.

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020

Funding Notes

UK and EU candidates applying for this project will be considered for a University Research Studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019-20) for a period of up to 3.5 years.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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