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Functionalised Metal-Organic Framework adsorbents and Hybrid Membranes for Challenging Gas Separations

University of Bath - Chemical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bath
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 maintenance stipend, Home/EU tuition fees, training support fee of £1,000 per annum for up to 3.5 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th February 2019
Closes: 30th April 2019

Metal organic frameworks belong to the family of coordination polymers with extremely high specific surface areas surpassing that of traditional adsorbents such as zeolites and activated carbon. MOFs are hybrid materials comprised of organic linker molecules and metal ions or clusters and owing to the vast diversity of linkers, nodes, and topologies, metal organic frameworks can be tailored for specific tasks, such as chemical separations and gas adsorption.

The goal of this PhD project is to design, synthesise, and characterise novel engineered metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and polymer hybrid membranes for challenging gas separations (e.g., CO2 separation, CO/N2 and olefin/paraffin separation), and investigate the structure and properties of membranes by a range of characterisation techniques. In terms of MOF design the role of the MOF metallic sites, MOF ligands functionalization, MOF crystal structure and, MOF flexibility will be evaluated for target gas separation. The most promising MOFs will be incorporated in either polymeric or ceramic supports. In order to prepare hybrid membranes, different novel preparation methods will be developed and explored.

The PhD student will analyse the results to determine the mechanisms of separations and propose ways to optimise the design and synthesis of the adsorbents and hybrid membranes. Overall this project will provide excellent experience for the prospective student in a diverse range of areas including materials chemistry and chemical engineering, nanoporous materials, advanced characterisation techniques, gas separation and adsorption technology and working in a unique collaborative academic industrial partnership.

The successful applicant will also be a part of the University of Bath’s Centre for Advanced Separations Engineering (, which has the largest number of academics in the UK focussed on Separation Science and Engineering. The Centre creates a stimulating, friendly and positive working environment where you can work with colleagues with complementary expertise.

Successful applicants will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent). Any English language requirements must be met at the deadline for applications.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Salman Shahid,

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

This project is eligible for inclusion in funding rounds scheduled for end of November 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019 and April 2019. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years. Early application is strongly recommended.

Expected start date: 30th September 2019

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