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PhD Studentship: Gas-Solid Reactors for Sustainable Processes in the Chemical Industry

The University of Manchester - School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th October 2018
Closes: 30th December 2018

Supervisors: Professor Chris Hardacre and Dr Vincenzo Spallina 

Project Description

Advanced energy and chemical plants require new reactors and processes designed to combine high efficiency, attractive economics and reduced pollutant emissions. A possible solution to intensify the process is the combination of reaction and separation in a single unit operation. A gas-solid reactor consists of a bed filled with particles which react if exposed in a certain environment and afterward they are regenerated. Several very promising processes proposed for near-zero emission from industry (such as chemical looping or sorption technologies as well as several acid gas removal processes) are based on gas solid reactions. Most of these processes occur at high temperature and pressure, and often combine exothermic and endothermic reactions so that the proper integration will become essential to achieve high efficiency with near-zero emissions.

Applicants are invited for a PhD Studentship under the supervision of Dr. Vincenzo Spallina in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science of the University of Manchester. The aim of this PhD project is to demonstrate the feasibility of gas-solid reactors for chemical process such as hydrogen and/or gas-to-liquids (e.g. methanol or ammonia), under relevant operating conditions. The project combines numerical modeling and experimental proof-of-concept of the technology and the subsequent reactor and process design of the technology. The candidate is expected to: i) derive the proper kinetics to be used through experimental analysis on the solid materials; ii) develop a computational model to describe the reactor behavior; iii) test different solid materials (such as oxygen carrier) in a proper lab facility; iv) assess the process performance of the integrated plant. 

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemical, Process and Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and or any other related degree.

Candidates with a good background in mathematics and computer coding experience in numerical optimisation, as well as good understanding of the reactor engineering concepts are desirable. 

For non-UK applicants a minimum IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required for the admission. 

The position is open until filled. Expected to start no later than January 2019.

Informal enquiries should be sent to 

Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum (£14,777 for academic year 2018/19) for eligible UK and EU applicants. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend). Other EU nationals may be eligible for a fees-only award.

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