PhD Studentship, 3D Electron Microtomography of Catalysts, University of Cambridge, UK

PhD Studentship in 3D Electron Microtomography of Catalysts
Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
Vacancy Reference No: NP07094

Carbon laydown or ‘coking’ is usually thought of as having a negative effect on catalyst performance. Recent work has shown that this need not be the case. This project seeks to explore how formation of carbonaceous overlayers can be used in petrochemical refining technology, particularly with respect to alkylation, hydrogenation and isomerisation.

The team will work on a range of problems including: (i) synthesis of novel metal organic framework solids (MOFs) and related materials; (ii) evaluation of the catalytic performance of these materials at bench scale and in pilot plant; (iii) characterisation of the materials and identification of the role of carbon deposits on catalytic performance. This studentship will focus on using electron microtomography techniques to image directly the location of carbon within the pore structure of the catalyst and relate this to catalytic performance.

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This 3-year PhD studentship is available to start as soon as possible but no later than April 2011. The studentship is open to UK and EU nationals and the project is sponsored by the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals.

Applicants should have a First Class (or high 2:1) degree in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, engineering, chemistry or physics. In the first instance, applicants should send a detailed curriculum vitae (to include numerical details of grades obtained in relevant examinations) to: the Research Secretary at

Informal enquires about the project may be made to Dr James McGregor via e-mail:

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Closing date: 30 September 2010. Visit official website.