New Chemistry for Carbon Capture and Storage


Contact Professor Chris Rayner to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a key strategy for reducing atmospheric CO2 levels and is essential if we are to meet our climate change targets. Rather than being released into the atmosphere, CO2 produced by large scale industrial processes, is selectively captured, concentrated, and then transported for storage in geologically suitable sites such as saline aquifers and depleted oil wells.

However, the capture and concentration of CO2 represents a huge challenge, particularly in terms of scale, given that a large power station can produce over 50,000 tonnes of CO2 per day. Current technology utilises amines such as monoethanolamine (MEA) to selectively capture the CO2, which then on heating liberates almost pure CO2 suitable for storage. However, there remain significant problems with this technology.

Firstly, it is very energy intensive and significantly reduces the efficiency of power stations; secondly, the use of MEA is far from ideal as it decomposes over time to give large volumes of potentially hazardous material which will require disposal; and thirdly, it has never been demonstrated on such a large scale.

Possible project areas are:

• Understanding the reactions responsible for CO2 capture and absorbent (e.g. amine) degradation.

• Investigating the role of CCS within Bioenergy with CCS towards negative CO2 emissions.

• Developing and understanding new CO2 absorption systems which alleviate many of the problems inherent with MEA. Much of this work is through our spin out company, C-Capture Ltd. which is commercialising our patented technology for carbon dioxide capture.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in a relevant chemistry or science degree.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'New Chemistry for Carbon Capture and Storage' as well as Professor Chris Rayner as your proposed supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University's minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.