Water pollution arises via several different sources, including municipal, industrial (in particular petroleum) and agricultural activities. The effect of pollutants on human and environmental health is continuously of major concern in both developing and developed countries. Economic development leads to population growth and both are related to increasing the amounts and types of various contaminants, too often contamination levels exceed amounts proposed by national and world health guidelines.
Absorbent materials such as clay minerals, zeolites and metal organic frameworks when combined with polycations can provide effective materials in removing pollutants, e.g. ionic species. In addition, these adsorbent materials when combined within a polymer matrix and constructed as beads or membranes have the potential to allow efficient separation of other contaminants, e.g. pesticides and oil. Preparation and modification methods to control surface oleophobicity of polymers can also allow enhanced adsorption or separation performance.
These material aspects will be explored within the programme of research to provide effective techniques to treat wastewater, whilst still considering low-cost and scalability.
Primarily, this project provides the opportunity to;
• design, prepare, characterise and test novel composite beads or membranes for enhanced adsorption, selection, separation performance.
• utilise a suite of sophisticated, characterisation techniques to assess adsorbent material interactions (e.g. FTIR, XRD, DSC, Raman, TGA) and adsorption phenomena (e.g. ICP-OES/MS, FTIR, GC-MS).
Furthermore, there is the opportunity to interact with a wide range of research students in a multi-disciplinary environment. Training will be provided to support studies, engage in professional development and attend conferences to present research.
The Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) is a dynamic interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to addressing industrial problems through the application of fundamental science and engineering. For information about MERI please visit https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/specialisms/materials-and-engineering-research-institute
Application deadline: applicants accepted all year round with enrolments during September, February (January on website) and May
Duration: 4 years full time, 7 years part time.
Funding Status: there is no funding attached to this project. The applicant will need to fund their own tuition fees, research costs and living expenses.
For information about how to apply, entry requirements, tuition fees and other costs please visit https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/degrees/apply