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PhotoCatalytic Conversion of Biomass into Green Hydrogen (EPS2022/35)

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Dr J Andresen, Assoc Prof Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu  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 energy conversion leading to the award of the PhD degree. A background in materials, energy or mechanical engineering, physics/chemistry/nanoscience, with a strong track record in electrochemistry, is highly desirable. Similar backgrounds may also be considered.

About the project:

Green hydrogen is a promising clean energy vector due to its carbon-free emission characteristics that have the potential to replace conventional fossil fuel resources. This project aims to develop green hydrogen fuel from biomass and its derivatives present in the wastewater. The objectives of the projects focuses on synthesising light-driven catalyst and co-catalyst materials and examining their electro and photoelectrochemical performance in oxidising the biomass derivatives to value-added chemicals (anode) and hydrogen gas (cathode). The life cycle and techno-economic analysis from the cradle-to-crave will be investigated.

This project will involve academy, and industry collaboration-the PhD candidate is expected to work with our industrial collaborators. This project will provide specific training in catalysis and nanomaterials synthesis and coatings, characterisation techniques, and handling analytical tools. It will involve collaborations with materials science researchers, physicist, mechanical and chemical engineers, and industries (energy and wastewater treatment sectors) and PhD students expected to visit collaborator labs.

The student will join Heriot-Watt’s Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, an internationally leading centre researching solutions to prevent climate change. The centre includes state of the art laboratories, servicing a dynamic community of students and researchers.

For more information: 

The student will work with Dr John Andresen and Dr Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu at the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

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.

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.


1. Ceramics International 47 (2021)10206-10215
2. Journal of Environmental Management 284(2021) 111983
3. Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2021,5, 3084-3091
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