Description :

Supervised by Victor Sans Sangorrin

Energy Research Accelerator

The Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) is a cross-disciplinary energy hub, fostering business-academia collaboration to accelerate solutions to global energy challenges. It will provide new buildings, skilled people, jobs products and services to transform the energy sector. Building on existing programmes and academic expertise across the partnership, universities within ERA have committed over £2m for doctoral students for the ERA skills agenda. Through Innovate UK, the government has committed a capital investment of £60m, and ERA has secured private sector co-investment of £120m. ERA's priorities of Geo-Energy Systems, Integrated Energy Systems and Thermal Energy will help deliver new technologies and behaviours, enabling ERA to have a transformative effect across the energy spectrum.

ERA is a key programme within Midlands Innovation - a consortium of research intensive universities that harnesses the Midlands' combined research excellence and industry expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the UK.

The Project: 

The aim of this project is to develop a new technological paradigm following an exciting line of research started in Nottingham, where CO2 is efficiently transformed to formic acid in a reversible fashion. In this way, high densities of hydrogen will be stored in a benign and safe environment. Novel catalysts integrated in ionic liquids and poly(ionic liquids), will be able to perform both the formation and the controlled decomposition of formic acid to hydrogen, thus opening the door for the next generation devices for energy storage. 

The project will look into the synthesis and characterisation of molecular catalysts that will be immobilised on supported materials with covalently attached ionic liquids. The resulting multi-functional materials will be employed for the synthesis and decomposition of formic acid from/to carbon dioxide and molecular hydrogen. The systems will be tested in batch, continuous-flow and in complex geometries (e.g. 3D printed membranes) to elucidate structure-activity relationships, long term stability and catalytic efficiency.

Summary: UK students only - Tuition Fees paid, and full Stipend at the RCUK rate, which is £14,777 per annum for 2018/19. The scholarship length will be 3.5 years and the successful applicant will be part of the Energy Research Accelerator at the University of Nottingham (

Entry Requirements: Starting October 2018, we require an enthusiastic graduate with a 1st class degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science or a relevant discipline, preferably at Masters level (in exceptional circumstances a 2:1 degree can be considered). 

To apply visit:

For any enquiries please email Victor Sans Sangorrin (

This studentship is open until filled. Early application is strongly encouraged.

Closing Date: 12 Jul 2018
Category: Studentships

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