Description of field of research

Modern society is developed based on a carbon economy where a great quantity of goods is built based on the carbon atom. Inevitably, the sustainable utilization of alternative carbon feedstocks, including captured CO2, natural gas (derived from biogas or abundant and less carbon-intensive natural gas),  and biomass, in an efficient and greener approach will become more and more important for the supply of C-embedded fuels and chemicals in our daily life with the gradual phasing out of the carbon-heavy fossil fuels (i.e., coal and heavy oil). This project aims to address this by resorting to the abundant solar energy and the knowledge of heterogeneous catalysis. The ideal catalyst (supported metal catalysts) will be synthesised and their activities towards important chemical reactions (for example, CO2 reduction and dry reforming of natural gas) under different conditions in home-made light-coupled reactor. Basic characterisations will be conducted to study the catalyst properties and reaction mechanism. The aim of the project is to provide important understandings in the selection of efficient catalysts which can harness the power of light for the production of demanding chemicals and fuels.

School

Chemical Engineering

Research Area

Surface Chemistry, Materials Science, Heterogeneous catalysis

This research will be undertaken within the Particles and Catalysis (PartCat) research group under the supervision of Prof. Rose Amal and Dr. Bingqiao Xie. PartCat group (led by Professor Rose Amal) has a range of academics, post docs, PhD students and Honours students. It is a large, supportive and collaborative research environment. The student will have the access to well-equipped laboratories with experimental facilities for photocatalysis and photothermal catalysis research. The student will work in a multidisciplinary research environment and learn various functional skills to facilitate future career in academic or industry.

The student is expected to gain experience in catalyst synthesis, characterizations and photothermal catalytic activity measurement techniques. This is an extended project based on preliminary results and the generated knowledge and data will result in a publication. The project will also allow the student to work with other research students to gain valuable interdisciplinary experience. Continuing of the research as an 4th year honor thesis project is possible. 

  • Dr. Bingqiao Xie
  • Scientia Prof. Rose Amal