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Scholarship: ERC Synergy Project - Design a novel fast measuring technique for structured catalysts in plasma flow reactors

School of Engineering, University of Warwick

Supervisors: Professor Evgeny Rebrov and Professor Volker Hessel

Application deadline: 30 October 2020

Start date: 11 January 2021

Duration: 3.5 years

The project:

The laboratory for Energy Intensified Reactor Engineering, together with several academic and industrial partners, performs ongoing research in the framework of an ERC Synergy project SCOPE on the application of novel structured catalysts in plasma flow reactors. This project aims at the design of a novel type of fast measuring technique in methane coupling into ethylene under non-thermal plasma conditions.

To attain optimal reactor performance, measurements for the local temperature and concentration distributions in the reactor should be attained in real-time. It has been proven that the TDLAS (tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy) is able to measure the temperature and concentration with the ultrafast response time. TDLAS is a technique that measures the absorption spectra of the selected gas using IR-lasers. The principle of TDLAS is based on Lambert Beer’s law. The main part of the TDLAS system is the diode laser of which, working wavelengths are adjusted to the range of absorptive wavelengths of the target gas.

In addition to the concentration measurements, the temperature dependency of the ratio of two dominant wavelengths is used for temperature calculations inside the reactor. The optical parameters are directly measured by changing the temperature and pressure of the target gas. In actual use of the optical experimental apparatus, the process of reducing the error between the theory and actual experiment is important. The calculation error of the method will be estimated from the temperature obtained from the TDLAS experiment and the temperature obtained with a thermocouple.

The primary objective of this research is to develop a method allowing to obtain reliable temperature and concentration maps for key components inside the chemical reactor. Then the catalytic reaction will be studied in real-time to determine the reactant conversion, product yields/selectivity’s as a function of several process parameters (flow rate, catalyst type, pressure etc.).

More details about the SCOPE project can found in the Warwick news

Eligibility: Candidates must have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent).

Funding: The annual stipend will be £15,280 (tax-free), for 3.5 years, plus fees at the home/EU rate, currently £4,425.

How to apply

Applicants should send a one-page motivation letter together with their CV and academic transcript to with ‘PhD Application’ in the subject line.

If you are successful at the interview you will be required to submit a formal application for study and fulfil the entry requirements set by the University of Warwick. As soon as you have a University ID number you will be invited to upload your degree certificate, transcripts, and a personal statement that explains your specific research interests and why you should be considered for this award. To make a formal application you must complete the online application form and quote scholarship ERVH2. Details of how to make a formal application can be found here

The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.