Phenolic compounds (phenols) found in the wastewater of various industries (oil refineries, petrochemicals, ceramic, steel, coal conversion, phenolic, pharmaceuticals) can result in significant health and environmental problems. Removal/ degradation of phenols has been attempted via a number of physical, chemical and biological methods, which have not posed a profound advantage on one another. Research on both membranes technologies (such as anion exchange membranes and nanofiltration/reverse osmosis membranes) and photocatalytic nanoparticles showed that the former exhibited low rejection levels of small organic molecules such as phenols while the latter effectively degraded phenolic compounds.
In this work, the performance of different nano-catalytic membranes and improvement of the design of these membranes will be assessed to degrade phenol model compounds found in wastewater photocatalytically under different operating conditions (pressure, phenol concentration and pH).
Applications are invited from graduates in chemical engineering, chemistry or a closely related subject holding at least a 2.1 (or equivalent) degree. Applicants should meet the University’s requirements for English language proficiency.