Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Phytomining and nano-synthesis: a green route to tackle soil contamination

   Chemical Engineering

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Lorna Anguilano  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Industrialisation and urbanisation bring a huge impact on the environment. In parallel impoverishment of resources leaves the industrialised economies to be constantly dependent on third parties for the procurement of raw materials. We aim at shifting the paradigm and switching the approach to contaminated land from a hazard to a wealth of raw material, in particular metals and metal oxides. The use of the plant as a mean of remediation and stabilisation of contaminated soil is very much in use in industrially contaminated lands. We aim at pushing this further into using plants as a tool for fast selective metal mining. Additionally, after the metal collection, we aim at using plants as the medium for the synthesis of high-value nano-particles for the application in electronics, biomedical and energy field.

The project aims at understanding and identifying the optimal plants association to best achieve multi-selective metal collection (using targeted case studies of existing contaminated areas); the optimal treatment to obtain an effective nano-synthesis and maintain a clean biomass residue for further use and the factors/conditions to manipulate nano-particles sizes and morphologies for specific case study applications.

Chemical Engineering at Brunel

Research activities within the chemical engineering degree programmes at Brunel cover a wide range of multidisciplinary topics. Academic staff involved investigate diverse future facing questions relevant to chemical process engineering, bioprocess engineering, materials manufacturing, energy technologies and low carbon economics. We develop innovative processes and products focusing on clean growth, sustainable development, digitalisation and process safety. Besides advancing scientific knowledge, we also aim to work closely with various industries and communities to provide world-class solutions to current and future social challenges. We conduct our research together with various university-level research centres and institutes. We have a world-leading collection of chemical and materials characterisation facilities at our disposal. At the core of your research study will be the relationship with your supervisor. We encourage you to contact the academic with related interests using our supervisor search tool online to discuss your proposal before submitting your application.

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Environmental Sciences (13) Geography (17) Geology (18)

Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.


Hazrat Ali, Ezzat Khan, Muhammad Anwar Sajad, Phytoremediation of heavy metals—Concepts and applications, Chemosphere, Volume 91, Issue 7, 2013, Pages 869-881,
Amanullah Mahar, Ping Wang, Amjad Ali, Mukesh Kumar Awasthi, Altaf Hussain Lahori, Quan Wang, Ronghua Li, Zengqiang Zhang, Challenges and opportunities in the phytoremediation of heavy metals contaminated soils: A review, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Volume 126, 2016, Pages 111-121
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.