A PhD project is available scale-up the production of advanced polymers through the Flow synthesis of porous organic polymers. The successful applicant will work closely together with a collaborative network of researchers designing next-generation liquid separation membranes.
The plastics and chemical manufacturing industries are major economic pillars of the UK economy, supporting 6200 companies with a workforce of 120,000. To maintain the status as a global leader in these industries, there is a need to continually innovate and develop new products to support other industries. For example, polymers with intrinsic microporosity (PIMs) can be deployed as polymer membranes for carbon capture or waste water treatment. Hypercrosslinked polymers (HCPs) can be used as adsorbents to remove bio-contamination from industrial wastewater, and during municipal wastewater treatment. Unfortunately, these advanced polymers have not been widely deployed in the industry. This is ascribed to a lack of suitable scale-up production techniques, and expensive bespoke reagents. Our research aims to overcome these issues plaguing advanced polymers by:
- Development of cost-effective porous organic polymers and methods suitable for scale-up production
- Transformation of current processes in chemical and plastics manufacturing
The PhD candidate will fufill these research objectives through:
- Discovery of new porous frameworks that are compatible with existing materials
- Translate well-established polymer synthesis protocols to suit scale-up production
- Benchmark new materials against commercial products to provide valuable insight to real-world scientific problems
Research and Training
This research will oversee the discovery of new materials and its transformation into a product viable for industry-scale separation. The candidate will also work closely with UK-based industrial partners such as Vapourtec, and international partners like the A*STAR, Singapore. This is an exceptional opportunity for PhD students that will encompass:
- Collaboration with industries and a large interdisciplinary network of world-class researchers
- Opportunities to present latest data in national/international conferences
- Discovery and development of new materials that will benefit targeted applications
Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.
Interested applicants must secure their own funding for this project.