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New materials for catalytic conversion of CO2 to chemicals

   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof M Rosseinsky, Dr J Claridge  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This PhD studentship: is an exciting opportunity to investigate new materials for the catalytic transformation of waste CO2 to valuable chemicals. Using a range of experimental approaches, including robotic high-throughput methods, you will explore routes to single metal, alloys or intermetallics from mixed metal oxides phases and you will evaluate their catalytic properties for the conversion of CO2 to valuable chemicals. The project will combine synthetic chemistry, advanced structural analysis (crystallography), characterisation with sorption and spectroscopic methods and testing of catalytic properties, with the opportunity to focus on one or more of these aspects during the project e.g., if your interest develops toward automated synthesis, that could become a central point. As well as obtaining knowledge and experience in materials synthesis and catalyst evaluation the student will develop skills in teamwork and scientific communication as the researchers within the team work closely together. The position will appeal to candidates with a strong interest in the synthesis of new materials and catalysis.

This is a multi-disciplinary PhD that sits at the interface between Chemistry, Materials Science and Manufacturing. The student will be based in the state-of-the-art laboratories of the Materials Innovation Factory (https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/materials-innovation-factory/) at the University of Liverpool, as part of a larger project involving teams at University of Oxford and in industry. The MIF is not only home to outstanding University research facilities but is also the permanent base for many industrial scientists.            

Wider context: This PhD studentship is part of a large project that aims to provide the scientific foundation that will allow the UK consumer chemical sector to become sustainable and carbon neutral. The consumer chemical industry makes products that go into cosmetics, vitamins and health supplements, soaps, detergents, household chemicals, perfumes and foods. While some steps have already been taken to make this sector more sustainable, the use of virgin petrochemicals and other non-sustainable and/or polluting feedstocks remains prevalent. The project will develop routes to synthesise (and recycle) feedstock chemicals that do not depend on virgin petrochemicals. These new materials will not only need to be sustainable and carbon neutral, they also need to offer high performance, be cost effective to produce in bulk quantities and must not have long-term persistence in the environment after use. This will require new catalysts and catalytic processes.  

Qualifications: The candidate should have a degree in Chemistry, Materials Science or a related discipline at the high 2:1 or 1st class level.

Funding: The Studentship is funded by the EPSRC as part of a business-led research collaboration between leading UK businesses and their long-term strategic University partners. The eligibility details of both are below.

EPSRC eligibility

Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC are welcome – please refer to the EPSRC website - View Website.

Funding Notes

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. The maintenance grant is £17,668 pa for 2022/23
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