PhD CASE Studentship (48 months): Understanding Synergistic Solvent Extractants for Rhodium Recovery

The University of Edinburgh

A CASE PhD studentship is available in the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Dr Carole Morrison, Prof. Jason Love and Dr Emma Schofield (Johnson Matthey).

Solvent extraction is a technology used to recycle platinum group metals (PGMs), which are classed as critical materials because of their importance in UK manufacturing. It is one of the more sustainable and efficient processes in PGM recycling, and can be used commercially to separate all PGMs except rhodium. To purify rhodium, most PGM recyclers depend on unsustainable and energy intensive precipitation/calcination processes which do not allow for ligand recycling. Recent work in the Love and Morrison labs discovered that a combination of two simple extractants, neither of which will extract rhodium on its own, can result in the synergistic recovery of rhodium by solvent extraction.

At present, the ‘mode of action’ of these extractants is unknown, and this forms the first phase of this CASE studentship award. The second phase of the project will involve ligand optimisation to enhance selectivity and recovery of rhodium, in line with existing metal recycling processes at Johnson Matthey.

The studentship is fully funded for 48 months and covers tuition fees and an annual stipend (starting at £14.5k per annum) for a candidate satisfying EPSRC’s criteria.

The successful candidate will possess, or expect to obtain, a first class or upper-second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in chemistry. Essential qualities include a strong background in a broad range of structural chemistry techniques and basic synthesis skills. A keen interest in computational modelling techniques is also highly desirable. Other essential attributes are good presentation and communication skills (written and oral). In the first instance, informal enquiries (accompanied by a CV) should be directed to:

Dr. Carole Morrison and Prof. Jason Love

School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FJ, UK.

Email: and

Formal applications are made through the University’s EUCLID system.

The position will remain open until filled.

The School of Chemistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information. University Initiatives website:

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