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Process Informed-design of tailor-made sorbent materials for energy-efficient carbon capture (EPS2022/37)

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Dr S Garcia, Dr Mijndert van der Spek  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 carbon capture technologies, leading to the award of the PhD degree. A background in chemical/process/mechanical engineering, energy or physics/chemistry/materials is desirable. Similar backgrounds may also be considered.

About the project:

We are looking for a creative and highly motivated student willing to work as part of an international and multidisciplinary team with expertise to support our research activities in our ACT-funded project “Process-Informed design of tailor-made sorbent materials for energy efficient carbon capture (PrISMa)” ( ).

The PrISMa project aims to accelerate the transition of energy and industrial sectors to a low-carbon economy by developing a technology platform to tailor-make cost-efficient carbon capture solutions for a range of different CO2 sources and CO2 use/destinations. The project unites the efforts of world-leading research teams from Heriot-Watt University (HWU) in the UK, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) as well as Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich (ETHZ) in Switzerland and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in the USA. These teams have the expertise to bridge the gap between molecular sciences and process engineering, and they are supported by market-leading companies and non-governmental organizations.

This PhD studentship is an exciting opportunity to contribute to our efforts on designing, synthesising and testing novel materials that are tailored for the most economical carbon capture process. The project will involve the design of adsorption-based processes that can be used for screening of materials and their integration into our techno-economic platform, with the ultimate aim of identifying top performing materials for specific carbon capture applications. The PhD project will involve mainly process modelling work along with the development of data-driven approaches for evaluating performance of carbon capture processes. Some experimental work might also be required in order to validate the model predictions.

This project will be conducted at the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (, an interdisciplinary world leading engineering centre, inspiring and delivering innovation for the wider deployment of technologies needed to meet necessary carbon targets. There will also be opportunities for the PhD candidate to travel to international collaborator labs. The student will work under the supervision of Prof Susana Garcia and Dr Mijndert van der Spek.

For any informal enquiries please contact Prof Susana Garcia at [Email Address Removed]

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. SMIT, B. & GARCIA, S., 2020. Carbon capture and storage: making fossil fuels great again?. Europhysics News, 51 (2), 20-22.
2. BOYD, P. G., CHIDAMBARAM, A., GARCÍA-DÍEZ, E., IRELAND, C. P., DAFF, T. D., BOUNDS, R., GLADYSIAK, A., SCHOUWINK, P., MOOSAVI, S. M., MAROTO-VALER, M. M., REIMER, J. A., NAVARRO, J. A. R., WOO, T. K., GARCIA, S., STYLIANOU, K. C., & SMIT, B. ,2019. Data-driven design of metal–organic frameworks for wet flue gas CO2 capture. Nature, 576(7786), 253-256.
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