Supervisor: Dr Abby Samson, Prof Jonathan Gibbins, Prof M Pourkashanian
Large scale Green House Gas (GHG) removal is vital to limit global mean temperatures from rising more than 2ºC. Most climate mitigation technologies focus on decreasing the rate at which we add carbon to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). This includes topics such as renewable electricity, carbon capture and storage from existing fossil plants and increasing efficiency in our processes. However, to prevent catastrophic climate change, we need to actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere, i.e., we need Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs). These NETs, which are featured in almost all UK government scenarios that allow the UK to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, primarily because atmospheric carbon removal is needed to offset other difficult to decarbonise sectors. Two promising NETs include Direct Air Carbon Capture and Carbon Mineralisation. Direct Air Capture involves directly extracting CO2 from the atmosphere by using chemical solutions or solid sorbent filters. Carbon mineralisation is a passive and low-cost method of capturing atmospheric CO2 as it becomes a solid mineral, like carbonate, when it is exposed to certain rocks.
This PhD project will focus on pioneering research into solvent based Direct Air Carbon Capture and Carbon mineralisation. It will be an experimentally based study and will also study the complete environmental impact and carbon saving of these technologies though Life Cycle Assessment.
The studentship consists of 3.5 years at Home fees and a EPSRC rate stipend.
Potential applicants should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a first class honours degree in engineering, mathematics, or science. The studentship is open to candidates of all nationalities; however, fees will only cover a UK rate.
The research work will be based in the Energy 2050 initiative within the University of Sheffield, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering to develop world-leading activity in energy research. The student will be working within an exciting and dynamic research group with approximately 46 PhD researchers and over 15 postdoctoral research fellows undertaking a broad range of energy research with strong links to industry.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering has been a major discipline in the University since its foundation in 1905. The Research Excellence Framework (REF, December 2014) placed the Department within the Top 5 for Mechanical Engineering in the UK.
For further information please contact Professor Derek Ingham (D.Ingham@Sheffield.ac.uk)