PhD Studentship: CO2 as a Source of Oxygen in Oxidative Processes

University of Leeds

Number of awards: 1

Deadline: 31 May 2018

Key benefits: Training in catalytic research and CO2 utilisation technology; training at the interface of chemistry and chemical engineering; world-class seminar programme.

Supervisor(s): Contact Dr Bao N.Nguyen to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

Conversion of CO2 from industrial processes into useful compounds is a major contemporary research undertaking, which has the potential of changing the whole fossil-fuel-based economy into a more sustainable one. The biggest challenge in is area of research in the thermodynamic stability of CO2, which necessitate the use of costly high energy and/or reductive reaction partners.

  1. However, this can be exploited resulting in oxidative processes wherein CO2 act as the oxygen source. This concept has been successfully applied to production of bulk chemicals, albeit at very high temperature and pressure.
  2. Research in Nguyen group has demonstrated that the temperature and pressure can be significantly reduced, enabling the use of CO2 as an oxidant in more synthetically relevant processes (Scheme 1).

In this project, the student will develop catalytic processes which employ CO2 as an oxidant for production of fine chemicals. The aims are to reduce the requirements of temperature and pressure and to improve catalytic activity and selectivity between possible products. Suitable processes may be taken into flow, exploiting the state-of-the-art flow reactors developed within the Institute of Process Research & Development (iPRD) for multiphasic systems. The project is best suited to a student with strong background and interest in catalysis. No prior knowledge of CO2 chemistry, process design or flow chemistry is required, as training will be provided for these important transferable skills.

The student will also benefit from interdisciplinary training and seminar programmes in process chemistry as a member of the Institute of Process Research & Development.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/ or a Master's degree in a relevant science subject such as (but not limited to) chemistry.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'CO2 as a source of oxygen in oxidative processes' as well as Dr Bao N.Nguyen as your proposed supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office e:

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

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