Self-funded students are welcome to apply for a PhD in the electrochemical preparation of transition metal electrocatalysts for the electrochemical conversion of CO2. Outstanding candidates from UK and EU may be eligible for a PhD scholarship (please contact Dr Tudela-Montes for further details).
Since the First Industrial Revolution started in the mid-1700s, anthropogenic impact has led to an estimated 40% increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 is the primary cause of the greenhouse effect responsible for climate change and the main target of mitigation actions to fight it. The electrochemical reduction of CO2 is a promising approach to utilising CO2 that offers unique advantages: 1) conversion of CO2 to added-value chemicals, and 2) conversion of hard-to-store excess electricity from renewable sources into easy-to-store energy in chemical form.
The present project will explore the development of novel transition metal electrocatalysts for the electrochemical conversion of CO2. These electrocatalysts will be prepared by different electrochemical methods, which will be selected depending on the electrocatalyst characteristics to be achieved. Special focus will be put on the interaction between substrate and electrocatalyst to ensure appropriate physical interaction and contact between substrate and electrocatalyst. Viability tests with suitable electrocatalysts will be conducted in the last stage of the project with continuous flow reactors to study the feasibility of the electrochemical conversion of CO2. Different reactor design options will be explored to optimize process performance.
The student will enjoy a stimulating working environment within the recently opened £350K Catalysis Design Laboratory at the School of Engineering and will gain expertise in advance experimental heterogeneous electrocatalysis. This project will combine electrochemistry, materials science & engineering, electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 and reactor design and engineering. Suitable candidates must be passionate about multidisciplinary research.
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.
Applications are welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere.