Air pollutions and greenhouse gases removal using atmospheric solar photocatalysis

Climate change and air pollution are two of the biggest threats faced by humankind in this century. Air pollution alone has a cost of ~£20bn pa to health services and business in the UK. Impact of climate change is much more costly and catastrophic.
A versatile solution is needed because many of these air pollution and GHGs emissions are typically disseminated, from various sources. Emissions source control is most favourable but removal from the atmosphere must be considered as well.

A promising solution is solar driven photocatalysis. Most of these air pollutions and non-CO2 GHGs can be eliminated by photocatalysis transforming them into benign atmospheric gases.  
However, there is little evidence to suggest large-scale applications work efficiently.  
There are multiple challenges, 1) Production of undesirable species. 2) Challenging to process large enough volume of air and to evaluate the efficacy. 3) More needs to be known about the potential deactivation of photocatalyst surfaces.
This project responds to all these challenges by proposing a process intensified photocatalytic approach. It will allow significant and quantitative volume of airflow to be processed and, will enable reaction species, efficacy and durability to be monitored, evaluated and enhanced.
This studentship will build a rig, and aim to investigate and optimise the choice of catalysts and their operating conditions for the elimination of different target gases in urban and rural environments. It will also preliminary consider costs, durability and sustainability impacts implied in scaling up the process.


Further Information: 

Links to existing project:

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Closing Date: 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Solar Photocatalysis
Solar Photocatalysis

Principal Supervisor: 


Prospective students will have good first degree in Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry or other engineering-related disciplines.

Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home/EU students (International students can apply, but the funding only covers the Home/EU fee rate)

Applications are welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere.

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: