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Novel porous materials for gas separation and storage

This project aims to use current understanding of framework and materials engineering, along with characterization of sorption properties to synthesize, test and retro-engineer porous materials for selective gas uptake and storage.

Number of places



19 July 2017


28 February 2018


3 years


Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant engineering/science discipline, and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research.

Project Details

Building upon recent research in the Fletcher group, which demonstrates the synthesis of new porous materials in the inorganic polymer framework and modified organic xerogel families, capable of selectively adsorbing and storing selected gas molecules, such as CO2 or H2S, via novel interactions, this project aims to use the current understanding of framework and materials engineering, in conjunction with characterization of sorption properties to iteratively synthesize, test and retro-engineer optimal materials for selective gas uptake and storage.

Recent advances in production and characterization of porous materials have shown evidence of materials capable of selectivity towards specific gases/vapours. In particular, the phenomenon of gating pressure (where materials show negligible adsorption of given species until a critical pressure is reached and the material effectively ‘opens’ to admit the gas/vapour) and hysteretic trapping (where a material retains adsorbed gas/vapour within the structure with decreasing ambient pressure without formal chemical bond formation) have been demonstrated.

In conjunction with the systematic modification of materials to embed suitable functionalities, these aspects provide a wide range of opportunities for materials development and process optimisation. Synthesised materials will, ideally, be capable of concentrating and trapping gases from point sources, including process stream exhausts, benefiting from removal of both high and ppm levels of gas, the latter often remaining after traditional scrubbing technologies. Such physical retention has an additional benefit of ‘holding’ the gas within the materials even with ambient fluctuations in pollutant concentration. Potential applications include carbon capture, hydrogen storage and gas sweetening.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Funding Details

This PhD project is initially offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources. However, excellent candidates will be eligible to be considered for a University scholarship.

Contact us

Ms Jacqueline Brown

+44(0) 141 574 5319

James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G1 1XJ

How to apply

Apply for this PhD project here.

Please quote the project title in your application.