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Low Cost Catalysts for Biofuels Production

As the world transitions from fossil fuels to biomass based fuels there is a corresponding drive to create new technologies to enable this situation to come to fruition. Biofuels represent one option in terms of mitigating the impacts of global warming. The conversion of biomass to biofuels typically requires a catalyst. Many different materials have been investigated, with zeolites showing considerable promise. However, zeolite catalysts can be expensive and thus there is a challenge to create new catalysts which are …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Advanced electron microscopy for sustainable nanocatalysis

The systematic and detailed characterisation of heterogeneous catalysts is critical for design of effective and stable catalytic materials, since it allows one to understand the correlation between their structure and physicochemical properties.Especially, it is important to monitor the structural evolution of catalytic materials and their active sites in a controllable environment and under realistic reaction conditions.Thus, we propose to use a powerful combination of aberration-corrected high-resolution TEM and in situ TEM experiments which allow us to gain extensive knowledge about …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Metal-free batteries

Chemical batteries are listed in the top 5 key energy technologies; ahead of others such as natural gas, wind turbines, hydrogen and electric motors. Our group is currently investigating the use of free radical containing polymers as avenues to produce environmentally friendly, lightweight and durable materials for the fabrication of printed carbon batteries or as a electrolytes in flow batteries.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Green polymer-inorganic composite materials

Composite materials are widely researched and widely used in applications such as aircraft, automobiles, ships, structural components and even the space industry.There is a need to create new composite materials which are environmentally friendly and do not use fossil fuel based products. Moreover, the properties of the composites need to be improved while at the same time minimising the costs involved.Consequently our research group is working on composite materials which not only include inexpensive inorganic fillers from the mining sector …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Polymer particles as precision sensors for molecules

Polymer particles are a billion-dollar industry with a diverse range of applications from biomedical to industrial coatings. As a prime example, point-of-care testing devices rely on polymeric particles with various size and functionality to conveniently allow instantaneous, selective, and precise diagnostics. However, as new applications arise and current applications advance, these demand the preparation of increasingly complex material and particle systems.The Soft Matter Materials Team has developed a simple method to form uniform particles without any additives, initiators or stabilizers. …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Using light for 3D patterning of surfaces: the visible light challenge

Inspired by nature's way of using light to trigger chemical processes known as photosynthesis by green plants, the idea of using light as an energy source to make and break chemical bonds has been widely applied for the development of more complex structures in the soft matter materials design and biological sciences. However, to date, the energy required to activate chemical bond formation was mostly extracted from UV light which is a drawback to develop and apply these reaction systems …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Towards Synthetic protein-structures based on precision macromolecules: can we beat nature in designing catalysts?

Up for a challenge? In this project you can explore if you can beat nature in making catalytic systems! Over billions of years, nature has perfected the design and synthesis of high molecular weight precision macromolecules, which are able to execute a specific function in a complex biological environment such as proteins.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Macromolecular barcoding for tracing plastic materials for the circular economy: a game changer for recycling

The reduction and management of plastic waste is perhaps the most critical challenge facing modern economies and plastic pollution cannot be resolved by generic approaches to research or to problem-solving. The Soft Matter Materials Team aims to resolve the anonymity and ubiquity of plastics by pioneering a simple optical readout system that can identify the uniquely coded information in macromolecules that have been embedded in plastics.In this project, optically readable macromolecular barcodes based on a system of excimer fluorescence switch-on …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Advanced polymer inks for 3D printing - defining the future of 3D additive manufacturing

Some estimates state that 30% of all manufactured goods will be 3D printed in 2030. A particular type of 3D printing is 3D laser lithography with which micro- and nano-sized structures can be prepared. Such structures find wide ranging applications in meta-materials functioning as invisibility cloaks or scaffolds for single (stem) cell interrogation. Today’s inks for 3D printing, however, only allow one material property to be written with one laser wavelength.Working in close collaboration with team members of the Soft …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Value-adding waste materials

Many industries generate copious amounts of waste products.Of particular interest are those wastes generated by the mining sector as typically a large fraction of the ore bodies are dumped or the agricultural sector.Potential solutions we are investigating include:converting aluminosilicate waste to zeolitestransforming inorganic waste to catalyst materialscreation of materials for water and wastewater treatmentmaking activated carbonrenewable fuels,

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Advanced nanomaterials for energy storage and green catalysis

The development of energy conversion and storage devices has been increasingly explored with the primary purpose to address the current energy and environment crisis. One of promising solutions is largely associated with the progress on advanced nanomaterials. These nanomaterials have been verified to exhibit attractive physical and chemical properties and are expected for developing cutting-edge energy conversion and storage devices for supporting a sustainable future. Therefore, the proposed research topics on advanced nanomaterials offers unprecedented opportunities for sustainable energy applications.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Polymer hydrogels as wound dressings

Polymer hydrogels make ideal wound dressings. They are crosslinked networks with high water content and can used as topical dressings on the eyes to deliver small molecule drugs. This project will investigate hydrogels made from seaweed extracts as tough but flexible sheets with high water content. The hydrogel sheets will have cooling effects when placed on the skin and be able to delivery small molecule drugs.

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

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