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Photocatalytic nanostructured anodic metal membranes for the removal of organic micropollutants from water (FoAMM)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Davide Mattia
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The accumulation, in the environment and in human food supply chain, of organic micropollutants, drugs, hormones or endocrine disruptors, represents today one of the biggest challenges to public health and the environment in the UK and other developed countries. Legacy technology comprising the majority of water treatment plants in the UK and other developed countries cannot remove micropollutants. Photocatalysis is considered the leading technology to treat micropollutants, but suffers from a twin-set of limitations that have hindered more widespread adoption so far: Photocatalytic nanoparticles slurries can effectively degrade micropollutants but require costly downstream retention of the particles to avoid their leaching into the environment. Immobilised photocatalysts, on the other hand, have significantly lower activity due to lower contact area and higher light scattering.

This 3-year PhD project is provided as part of FoAMM, a 5-year EPSRC Established Career Fellow in Water Engineering awarded to Prof Davide Mattia. In this project, the challenge of safe micropollutant removal will be addressed by creating novel photocatalytic nanostructured anodic metal membranes – or FoAMMs - combining the high surface area of slurries and the stability of immobilised systems requiring no downstream removal.

The PhD project will focus on the use of FoAMMs for concurrent filtration and degradation of micropollutants. Working within a team of 5 researchers, you will design, commission and test an experimental apparatus and membrane module to simultaneously degrade micropollutants under UV irradiation and filter out by-products to produce clean water.

Due to funding limitations, only UK/EU applicants can be considered. Applicants should ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or equivalent overseas qualification) in chemical engineering, materials science/engineering or chemistry. English language requirements must be satisfied in advance of an offer of funding, by IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with an overall band score of 6.5 and a minimum of 6.0 per skill.

For inquiries please contact Prof Davide Mattia, phone: +44(0)1225-383961, email: [Email Address Removed],
web:, and

Funding Notes

A Home/EU award will provide full tuition fees, an annual Training Support Fee of £1,000, and a tax-free maintenance payment of £14,777 (2018-19 rate) for up to 3 years.

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