Direct Air Capture (DAC) of CO2 has the potential to become a major emissions mitigation technique in the run-up to a net zero economy. However, progress in this area hinges on designing new materials with ideal characteristics for the process – e.g. high selectivity towards CO2 over all other components of air; high operating capacity; high regeneration efficiency; scalable and economic manufacture. Despite extensive research, such a material has not yet been found. Furthermore, even when such a material is identified, it needs to be manufactured at the required large scale and in an economic and sustainable process. To achieve this, one must address challenges that span a wide range of length scales, from molecules to processes.
This project builds upon recent research within the Fletcher group, demonstrating the synthesis of novel porous materials that are capable of selectively adsorbing and storing CO2 via bespoke interactions. In partnership between the University of Strathclyde and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), this project focuses on the optimisation and large-scale manufacture of materials designed to adsorb CO2 for carbon capture applications. The objectives of the project are three-fold: (i) to supply NPL with a range of well-characterised porous samples to screen materials and determine optimised properties for DAC applications, (ii) to develop new materials for DAC on the basis of feedback from (i), and (iii) production of these improved materials at scale (e.g. pellets, monoliths etc.) for testing in a DAC pilot plant, together with process modelling to optimize the separation process.
You will join a world-leading team of researchers to design the next generation of porous materials for DAC. You will be trained in cutting edge experimental methods (e.g. material synthesis, SEM, FTIR, contact angle, high-precision adsorption measurements) and in process modelling techniques using cutting-edge simulation methods. You will also receive training in data management and analysis, equipping you for the job market of the future. This position offers a very generous funding package, which includes a yearly allowance for international conference participation.
All Strathclyde PhD students undertake the Strathclyde Researcher Development programme (PGCert), which provides a framework for skills and knowledge development, with the award of the separate qualification in conjunction with the PhD. Additionally, all PhD students are automatically enrolled in the Strathclyde Doctoral School, providing opportunities for students to network and intensifying their research dissemination.
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