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Understanding the interaction of biomolecules with fabrics for improved fabric care


Project Description

Fabric care is a routine part of life. As the environmental impact of fast fashion trends and cleaning products is realised, it is evident that innovative approaches to fabric care are required. This project seeks to develop methodologies that enable the characterisation of how biomolecules interact with fabrics. These methods will in turn be used to facilitate the development of new biomolecule-based formulations designed to extend the life of fabrics and reduce the environmental impact associated with their care.

This four-year PhD project is a BBSRC CTP funded collaboration between the School of Pharmacy and Interface and Surface Analysis Centre at the University of Nottingham, and Croda Europe Ltd. The project will make the most of the world leading analytical chemistry techniques at the University of Nottingham in order to correlate material properties to claims substantiation methods for consumers and provide in-depth understanding of biopolymer chemistry and the functionality associated with fabric-care products.

The project will make use of a range of analytical techniques, particularly atomic force microscopy (AFM) and mass spectrometry (e.g. LC-MS, ToF-SIMS, 3D-OrbiSIMS). The methods and analytical approaches developed will be linked to application tests in order to complement or replace existing methodologies. The results will be used to guide the successful applicant in the synthesis and development of new formulations with Croda. As such, the project will be application focussed, with the aim of impacting upon the methods currently used by Croda to formulate their biomolecule-based fabric care.

Croda is a world leader in specialty ingredient design and manufacture, incorporated into thousands of formulations across several core markets including Personal Care, Health Care, Crop Care, Energy Technologies and Performance Products. The company has >4300 employees, working in 36 countries with a revenue in 2017 of £1.3bn, of which over 27% was attributed to new, patented and protected products demonstrating Croda’s commitment to innovation.

Croda is a company with sustainability at its core. This project will provide the opportunity to work alongside an innovative research team providing solutions to real world problems; developing sustainable alternatives to petrochemical-derived products that will result in a positive environmental impact. The project will involve undertaking placements at two Croda sites within the UK covering synthesis of new biomolecules and their applications. Furthermore, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work in an industrial environment with a clear link between research and full-scale manufacture.

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will:
• Receive the training needed for a professional career as a multidisciplinary biotechnologist
• Receive training on and develop expertise using a range of cutting-edge materials characterisation technologies.
• Receive a full studentship tax free (fees and stipend at UK/EU rates) for 4 years
• Work directly with leading academics and industrialists within a supportive environment. The School of Pharmacy was rated 1st in the UK for quality of research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and was recently awarded a silver rating in the Athena Swan.
• Receive a travel and consumable allowance

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?
Pharmacy

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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