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Polymer Photocatalyst Coatings for Waste Water Treatment

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Waste water contains an increasing load of pharmaceuticals, like un-metabolised oestrogen, that affect the environment into which it is discharged. Much smaller than living pathogens, pharmaceutical contaminants are challenging to remove, and often persist during long half-lives. Photocatalysis uses light to generate free radicals that degrade recalcitrant contaminants in water. Designing mechanically robust, anti-foulling, re-usable catalyst materials is an ongoing challenge.

This project will create polymer-based coatings of semiconductors and apply them to catalyst supports of differing geometry. Experiments will examine how to prepare and apply the coating and quantify the efficiency of the photocatalysts in various regions of the UV and visible spectrum. The student will design and validate a small-scale packed bed reactor to test the viability of producing waste water solutions for the developing world.

The student will learn the principles of designing polymer composites and basic polymer synthesis. Various forms of optical and electron microscopy will be used to image the materials, x-ray and neutron scattering will quantify the structures formed. The student will have the opportunity to build a revise reactor prototypes for testing the materials.

Funding Notes

Students with a first in chemical engineering, physics, chemistry, material engineering, electrical engineering or a related field may apply. An MEng is not required if the student can demonstrate significant laboratory experience. Qualified transfers from industry are welcome.

If English is not your first language, then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component.

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