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Catalysts for low temperature after-treatment of emissions in automotive applications

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Doyle
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Engineering and Materials Research Centre (MMU-EMRC) at Manchester Metropolitan University offers up to five fully funded PhD studentships (RCUK-matched stipend of £14,057 and MMU UK/EU PhD student fees of £4,052, both per annum for 2015/16, plus some research expenses), for an April 2016 start.

For full details of the PhD studentship projects available for an April 2016 start:

Interested applicants should liaise directly with the PhD project Director of Studies to obtain further details on the project.


There is a need for higher performance catalytic convertors to provide high activity in treating diesel engine exhausts. This project will investigate the development of new methane oxidation catalysts which offer superior performance to the current state of the art and improve both low temperature activity and conversion efficiency.


This project will investigate the development of new methane oxidation catalysts which offer superior performance to the current state of the art and improve both low temperature activity and conversion efficiency. Candidate substrates will be further assessed for durability in a heavy duty engine test cell at G-volution (project partner) to investigate their performance in real engine exhaust conditions. The substrates will be suitably scaled up for the engine test programme, with the canning of the substrate being completed by G-volution.

Catalytically active transition metals will be deposited within the pores of high surface nanoporous supports and the activity tested in the catalytic decomposition of diesel exhaust emissions e.g. methane, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides. A range of microporous and mesoporous materials will be prepared and characterised using the suite of instrumentation available at MMU (X-ray Diffraction, SEM/Raman, Surface Area Analysis). Active metals (single and mixtures) will then be occluded within the pores using incipient wetness and ion exchange methods. The final part of the project will explore the catalytic activity of all prepared materials by measuring the decomposition of methane in a fixed-bed plug flow reactor with a quartz reactor tube. This system (already assembled) passes a continuous gaseous mixture over a solid catalyst where the products of reaction are measured online using gas chromatography. The set-up allows the user to study a range of parameters (temperature, gas flow rate, reactant) without removing the catalyst, which gives the advantage of generating a large quantity of results in a short time. G-volution will test the substrates prepared in this project under real engine conditions. The performance of the candidate catalytic substrates will be evaluated at their heavy duty test cell facility and benchmarked against the current industrial standards.


Interested candidates should have a minimum 2:1 Hons Bachelor/Masters degree in a chemistry or chemical engineering related subject. They should be keen to learn new experimental techniques. Experience in the preparation and testing of heterogeneous catalysts would be beneficial but not essential. The project will be full-time for 36 months. The successful candidate is expected to spend some time visiting the research partner Gvolution Ltd to conduct experimental tests.


Project is only open to Home/EU students only

Informal enquiries can be made to:

Dr Aidan Doyle

[Email Address Removed]


Prof Craig Banks

[Email Address Removed]

Please quote the studentship reference: EMRC-AD-2016-1-PhD.

Applications should be completed using the Postgraduate Research Degree Application Form -

Application Form should be emailed to: [Email Address Removed].

PLEASE NOTE that Section 9 of the application should be used to write a personal statement outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date.

1 February 2015

Funding Notes

Funded studentships will cover tuition fees at the home/EU rate and an RCUK matched bursary of £14,057 per annum. Fully funded PhD studentships at MMU are only available to home and EU students

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