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SLowCat (Securing a sustainable fuel supply through controlled synthesis of low-dimensional catalysts): 3D Assembly of Single Atoms into multi-structured catalysts

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, June 16, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Reference number: CG-MD-2007
Start date of studentship: 1 October 2020
Closing date of advert: 16 June 2020
Interview date: 5 August 2020

Primary supervisor: Marijana Dragosavac
Secondary supervisors: Sandie Dann, Xujin Bao

SLowCat (Securing a sustainable fuel supply through controlled synthesis of low-dimensional catalysts) is a major new project at Loughborough University led by a team of 8 physical scientists and engineers with complementary expertise in catalysis, modelling, material science and engineering. Underpinned by advisors from industry, academia and professional bodies and linked with the UK Catalysis Hub, SLowCat will revolutionise the next generation of catalysts for fuel and fine chemical generation from dilute feedstocks. Multidimensional catalysts, specifically tailored to manipulate fundamental interactions between particles will be produced, which utilise both top down (analysis of real feedstocks) and bottom up (controlling particle interactions from 0D to 3D) methodologies to design novel materials with tailored properties.

The successful candidate will join a team of enthusiastic and talented PhD students who are expected to work together across the consortium, undertake experiments at Loughborough/national facilities (e.g. Catalysis Hub, DIAMOND) and present their work externally (conferences, outreach). Each SLowCat project requires different core skills and applicants should apply for the individual projects they are interested in.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your future career

Full Project Detail:

A critical challenge for biomass conversion is to combine high surface areas and activity with low mass transfer resistance of large biomolecules to the active catalytic sites, predominantly located inside the internal pores of 3D materials. This project aims to address this challenge by using self-assembly to encapsulate single metal ions and/or 2D assemblies within a silica matrix to develop novel catalysts with unique reactivity. Multiscale porous materials will be developed which combine the advantages of active site accessibility and efficient mass transport effects with high surface area and spatial confinement of active sites. To characterize size and morphology of the porous catalyst SEM, TEM, XRD and BET techniques will be used. Once efficient lab formulation protocols are developed, scale up and downstream processing will be investigated to transfer the lab recipe to commercial equipment through both experiment and process modelling.

Find out more:

Informal enquiries should be directed to Marijana Dragosavac;

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, chemical engineering or materials science, a good aptitude for experiment work including excellent chemical synthesis/analysis skills.

Contact details:

Name: Marijana Dragosovac
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222501

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Chemical Engineering

Please quote reference number: CG-MD-2007

Funding Notes

Starting in October 2020, the studentship is for 3.5 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 p/a plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. To qualify for this full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the UK residency requirement View Website.

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