MPhil/ PhD in Robust Green Nanomaterials for Clean Energy Effective CO2 Capture and Conversion to Fuel

Supervisor: Dr Chaoying Wan

PhD Project Overview:

Renewable carbon-based fuels are currently produced from biomass. The alternative is a chemical reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is being produced by industry at an increasing rate and is adding to issues of global warming.

This project aims to develop functional nanomaterials that can capture atmospheric CO2 and convert it into fuel. Such an approach will simultaneously address problems related to reduction of CO2 emissions and its storage. 

Specifically, this project will involve the:

  • Synthesis of novel inorganic nanoparticles with functional surface and high porosity for CO2 capture.
  • Further reduction of the absorbed CO2 into fuel catalysed by the functional nanoparticles.
  • Design and setup of devices for CO2 capture and conversion

The catalyst encapsulated nanomaterials are robust, reusable and recyclable, which makes this technology an ideal prospect for the clean energy industry. As a part of the investigation the composition and morphology of the nanomaterials will be optimized to maximise CO2 capture capacity, the immobilization techniques for catalysts will be investigated, the corresponding conversion efficiency of CO2 will be studied in detail and the reaction kinetics and mass transfer characteristics will be analysed.

This project will involve inorganic synthesis and advanced characterisation techniques, such as electron microscopy (both scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), laser-based particle size analysis and the surface zeta potential.

This multidisciplinary project will link chemistry, material science, sustainable energy and environmental engineering and the functional nanomaterials will be of interest to both science communities and industries.


Applicants should have a First Class UK honours degree or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such Chemistry, Polymer Technology, Nanotechnology or Materials Science.

An MSc in a relevant subject is highly desirable.

Knowledge or experience of inorganic synthesis is advantageous.

Please note that the scholarship is only available to UK and EU applicants.

Awards available: 1 award available

Funding Details: Fees and Maintenance at RCUK level

Length of Award: 3 years (PhD)

Eligibility: Available to Home (UK & EU) students

Application Details: 

Please contact prior to submitting a formal application.

Apply directly through the PG Admissions system (note reference number)

Deadline:  31st January 2013

Also Read  Research Engineer with Surrey County Council & the University of Surrey

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