Conversion of humidity to electricity

Sudden humidity swings are part of our daily life from natural or manmade occurrences. Human body temperature regulation works on the evapotranspiration of water through the skin, the relative humidity in a dishwasher usually swings from 30% to 100% and humidity changes between day and night are present in humid and dry areas alike. The swing between two relative humidity levels always corresponds to an energy change which is possible to harvest. In the past, three proof of principles experiments exploiting three different mechanisms have shown that it is possible to harvest energy from humidity but not beyond the generation of negligible powers. The present project looks beyond these results, exploits different chemical-physical schemes and aims at generating noticeable powers in a true engineering device.

In your studies you will work in the Emerging Sustainable Technologies Laboratory (ESTech Lab), be part of a world leading research group in sustainable technologies towards the development of a proof-of-concept super-efficient processes for energy generation.

Your investigation will have a strong theoretical character exploiting Thermodynamic and Dynamic approaches.

Your studies will be carried out at the Institute for Materials and Processes (IMP) and will include modelling activities supported by experiments. You will attain skills in modelling, design and testing of new renewable energy technologies.

Please note, the position will be filled once a suitable candidate has been identified.

Further Information: 

The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here:

Closing Date: 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Principal Supervisor: 


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.

Undergraduate degree in chemical engineering or mathematics or engineering mathematics

Desirable criteria: i) knowledge of thermodynamics and non-equilibrium Thermodynamics of fluid phase equilibria or physical chemistry; ii) basic skills on utilization of one computational tool such as Matlab, Mathcad, Mathematica, Python etc…


 Applications are welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: