ENERGY INNOVATION: FULLY FUNDED KESS II MSC BY RESEARCH SCHOLARSHIP: ELECTROCHEMICAL GROWTH OF CARBON NANOTUBES FROM WASTE CARBONS
*This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.*
Start date: January 2021
The general principle is to understand the parameters associated with electro-organic synthesis of carbon nanomaterials from solvent-based systems, where the solvent is an acid media. Acid media is required for dissolving certain plastics and rubber, and it is commonly found that food waste will degrade and form into an acidic solution with time. TrimTabs hold IP on the process of reusing plastics as a carbon feedstock for the manufacture of carbon nanotubes. They wish to develop new IP dealing with the use of a broader class of carbon sources. The company have the motto of “no carbon left behind” and so they need to know the processes that can be employed to convert the most amount of carbon materials as possible. Carbon is the main material input, typically in the form of hydrocarbons sourced from fossil fuels. Prices of hydrocarbons are known to fluctuate, so it is important to have flexibility in the supply chain for long-term considerations. Being pegged to one particular carbon source could become a costly handicap. For this reason, it is a worthy challenge to establish chemical protocols that allow for flexibility within the supply chain, especially when the history of oil prices and global geopolitics are considered. For this reason, various carbon sources will be continuously investigated. But due to immediacy of global climate change, and the environmental impact of waste plastics, rubber tyres, and food waste; then these materials are being tested as a first source to investigate.
This work could lead to greater understanding of the reaction mechanisms by which nanotubes are made. Control over critical parameters such as solubility, pH, and blocking moieties for example is easier to accomplished in the liquid phase at room temperature. Additionally, at room temperature kT is lower compared to CVD technique (700-1200 °C), to such a degree that reaction rates are decreased, and fewer competitive reaction pathways exists. Moreover, chemical mechanisms become more easily ratified by use of highly controlled and specific working potentials in the electro organic system.
TrimTabs is technology research company with IP detailing the process of carbon nanotube synthesis from mixed plastic materials. As TrimTabs expands operations their intention is to build a series of pilot plants in the Welsh region and to employ from the local community. They have developed the motto of “no carbon left behind” as a working philosophy. This philosophy drives their innovation towards being a responsible manufacturer of speciality materials.
The student will receive all safety and health training for working with nanomaterials. They will receive all necessary instrument training to deal with materials characterization and measurement.
The student will receive training using spreadsheets and other relevant simulation software as required.
NOTE: The Interior of Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) was designed to ensure an open-space environment. Therefore, it is optimum to allow safe environment including working at social distancing as required by COVID-19. The laboratory benches are situated 4m apart allowing for excellent EHS practices. It has a 50% lower density of desk space within its hub (2nd floor) than the rest of Bay Campus, that allows for social distancing without alteration.
Risk mitigation: This project has been created with potential interruptions due to COVID-19 in mind. The modelling work can be carried out remotely through VPN access to Swansea University’s servers and software. The laboratory work will be carried out when it is safe, and will be first informed by the modelling processes.
Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 1 year funding with a 3 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 40 credit award.
Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in any of the physical sciences or engineering subjects. They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees (see http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Fees-and-Money/Wales-fee-status for more information).
Candidates must be eager to learn, be willing to fail but not be deterred.
We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/englishlanguagerequirements/
For more information on eligibility criteria please refer to section C of the KESS II Participant Proposal Form.
Any queries relating to Section C – Eligibility, please contact KESSstudentenquiries@swansea.ac.uk.
The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,819 p.a. dependent upon the applicant’s financial circumstances as assessed in section C point 4 on the KESS II Participant Proposal Form.
There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.
Please note that students receiving KESS II support are not eligible for Postgraduate Master’s Degree loan.
How to Apply
Applicants are strongly advised to contact Dr Charles Dunnill (C.Dunnill@Swansea.ac.uk) regarding information on the area of research:
- Complete the KESS II Participant Proposal Form 2020-21
- Complete the KESS II Supplementary Form
- You will also need to provide copies of the following documentation:
- Degree certificates
- English language certificate (if required)
- All supporting documentation as detailed in Section C of the KESS II Participant Proposal Form
- Two references*
*The references can take the form of a letter on official headed paper, or via the University’s standard reference form. Alternatively, referees can directly email a reference from their employment email account to KESSstudentenquiries@swansea.ac.uk. Please note that references received via private emails accounts (e.g., Hotmail, Yahoo) cannot be accepted.
Please submit both application forms and supporting documentation to KESSstudentenquiries@swansea.ac.uk.
Application forms may be submitted in Welsh and any application submitted in Welsh will be treated no less favourably than an application received in English.
For any other queries, please contact: KESSstudentenquiries@swansea.ac.uk
The deadline for applications is 4pm 19 November 2020.
For more information please open this link