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  Novel tools to optimise the use of the subsurface to store carbon dioxide and hydrogen. (EPS2022/36)

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Prof M Maroto-Valer, Dr S Garcia  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a research studentship in the field of Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen Storage leading to the award of the PhD degree. A background in process/chemical/petroleum/mechanical/energy/environmental engineering or relevant fields of chemistry/physics is highly desirable. Relevant backgrounds may also be considered.

About the project:

The subsurface plays a key role in addressing our ambitions to meet net-zero CO2 emissions targets, including for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) or hydrogen. However, we do not have sufficient knowledge to predict the behaviour of subsurface systems. The field of reactive transport modelling is an important tool for addressing this extremely complex interplay of flow, transport and reactions occurring over various temporal and spatial scales in the subsurface. However, current state-of-the-art tools are not sufficient to understand reactive flow, as they do not allow real-time mapping of evolution of fronts (e.g. temperature, pressure, pH) critical to refine, validate and upscale simulations.

The aim of this work is to use replicas of porous subsurface structures in order to gain much needed dynamic data at the pore scale that can be incorporated into validated simulations coupling flow and reactive transport processes for CO2 or hydrogen storage.

The ground-breaking nature of this project will help to resolve the discrepancy between laboratory and field rates, as in-silico models will for the first time be based on dynamic data (both reactions and flow) at pore scale.

The successful candidate will work with the MILEPOST team funded by a prestigious ERC Award.

For more information visit:

This project will be conducted at the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (, an interdisciplinary world leading engineering centre, inspiring and delivering innovation for the wider deployment of technologies needed to meet necessary carbon targets.

The student will work under the supervision of Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer and Prof Susana Garcia. For any informal enquiries please contact Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer at [Email Address Removed]

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.

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12)

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.


A. Jahanbakhsh, K.L. Wlodarczyk, D.P. Hand, R.R.J. Maier, R.R.J., M.M. Maroto-Valer, Review of Microfluidic Devices and Imaging Techniques for Fluid Flow Study in Porous Geomaterials. Sensors 2020, 20, 4030. DOI:10.3390/s20144030
B. K. L. Wlodarczyk, R. M. Carter, A. Jahanbakhsh, A. A. Lopes, M. D. Mackenzie, R. R. J. Maier, D. P. Hand, and M. M. Maroto-Valer, Rapid Laser Manufacturing of Microfluidic Devices from Glass Substrates, 2018, 9, 409; doi:10.3390/mi9080409
C. A. Jahanbakhsh, O. Shahrokhi, M.M. Maroto-Valer, Understanding the role of wettability distribution on pore-filling and displacement patterns in a homogeneous structure via quasi 3D pore-scale modelling, Scientific Reports, 2021, 11(1), doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-97169-8.
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