Open Positions

Funded PhD Studentships 

Removing the hydration bottleneck from integrated alkaline CO2 capture and electrochemical conversion

About the Project

Humanity’s demand for fuels and chemicals is rapidly increasing, driven by a growing population and global demands for an improved quality of life. This demand must be rationalised against our need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions, reaching net zero by 2050 to mitigate the effects on climate change. While electrification can replace fossil fuels in some circumstances, many transport applications (e.g. aviation) require a chemical fuel due to its high energy density. While carbon capture and utilisation separately are developing at pace, their integration still poses challenges with a significant gap to bridge between the state-of-the-art in each field to achieve the economically viable production of value-added fuels from captured CO2.

This project aims to improve the performance of CO2 reduction from captured CO2 through a holistic approach, combining multiple experimental and computational techniques. This will develop approaches that catalyse the kinetically slow CO2 hydration reaction alongside CO2 reduction to produce energy dense fuel molecules and intermediates that can integrate with existing petrochemical processes to produce sustainable fuels and base oils.

Activities will include

1) Design and rapid prototyping of new electrolyser architectures and electrodes

2) Integration of catalysts for CO2 hydration into electrolysers.

3) Understanding of local environments within electrolysers through the combination of multiple experimental and computational techniques

The successful candidate will participate in both fundamental and applied catalysis research. This will include experimental electrochemistry, catalyst and electrode materials development, and rapid prototyping (3D printing). There will also be the opportunity to learn and use multiphysics modelling techniques alongside the core experimental focus of this project.


Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2.1 honours degree or a Master’s in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or other related discipline.

Before you apply

We strongly recommend that you contact the supervisor (Dr Cobb) for this project before you apply. We also encourage all applicants to read the group philosophy and EDI documentation included on the group website (

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