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Intensification of gas separation processes by using advanced regeneration technologies

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Fernandez-Martin
    Prof J Anderson
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Decreasing the gas separation energy penalties and costs are the driving forces that claim the development of new and more efficient gas separation technologies. Adsorption on the materials surface and regeneration at low to moderate temperatures using low-cost solid sorbents is a very promising and cost effective gas separation technology that offers potential energy savings.

Temperature swing adsorption (TSA) is a suitable technology for gas separation at sub-atmospheric pressures (i.e. post-combustion CO2 capture, where CO2 is separated from the flue gas which is mainly composed by CO2 (12-14 %v/v) and N2 (84-86 %v/v), and other impurities such as SOx, NOx, H2S and particulate matter).

The target gas is first separated from the mixture by adsorption on the surface of the solid material, and then is released and recovered when the temperature rises. However, this temperature raise is the major energy penalty of gas separation. Accordingly, the aim of this project is to study the benefits of the proposed cutting-edge regeneration technology over the conventional Thermal Swing Adsorption (TSA).

The advantages of the proposed technology over the conventional one would be explained by the more efficient thermal swing process, avoiding large temperature gradients typical from the conventional methodology.

This pioneering and unexplored technology for gas separation would potentially decrease the overall energy penalty of the gas separation processes, through the development of a highly efficient and compact gas separation system.

Thus, the project will focus on the comparative effects of novel and conventional regeneration strategies, considering crucial parameters such as energy requirements, process efficiency, heating rates, kinetics of desorption, etc. The research outcomes will allow to determine whether the proposed technology would be an emergent technology suitable for gas separation.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Chemical Engineering or any related discipline, MEng in Chemistry or any related disciplines,

Essential background: Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, .

Knowledge of: Materials science, organic chemistry, materials characterisation, physical chemistry, reactor dynamics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, gas separation processes, adsorption, kinetics of adsorption and desorption,…

Funding Notes

This project is for self-funded students only. There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to pay Tuition Fees and living expenses, from their own resources, for the duration of study.



This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Chemical Engineering.

Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing.

NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR AND EXACT PROJECT TITLE YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ON THE APPLICATION FORM. Applicants are limited to applying for a maximum of 2 projects. Any further applications received will be automatically withdrawn.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr C Fernandez-Martin ([email protected]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

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

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