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SLowCat (Securing a sustainable fuel supply through controlled synthesis of low-dimensional catalysts): Active Single-atom Catalysts

   Department of Chemistry

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  Dr S Kondrat  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Reference number: SK/CM-CDT/2020
Start date of studentship: 1 October 2020
Closing date of advert: 16 June 2020
Interview date: 6 – 8 July 2020

Primary supervisor: Simon Kondrat
Secondary supervisors: Jamieson Christie, Yang Su

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:

Bio-refineries produce green fuels but have a high demand for hydrogen and produce aqueous waste. Aqueous Phase Reforming (APR) produces hydrogen and light alkanes from this waste. Key to enabling APR are active, stable and affordable heterogeneous catalysts.

This project will study the rational design of supported single atom non-noble metal catalysts. using an earth abundant metal (Fe, Ni or Cu) that can match, or even exceed, the performance of state of the art precious metal catalysts (Pt, Re). The candidate will employ theoretical DFT calculations to rationally design these materials. Then, use practical skills to synthesise these materials and characterise them using a range of advanced techniques, before employment in catalytic APR testing.
As the project evolves, the candidate will have the opportunity to support single atom metals onto novel 2-dimensional supports, such as graphene. These materials will be highly novel and provide an excellent opportunity to engage with world leading research.

Entry requirements:

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

Contact details:

Name: Simon Kondrat
Email address: [Email Address Removed]
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 223388

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Chemistry.

Please quote reference number: SK/CM-CDT/2020

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
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