PhD studentship in Aiding the transition from crude oil feedstocks to biomass: probing the behaviour of relevant hydrocarbon species in acidic zeolite cracking catalysts

A joint PhD is available between the University of Bath, ISIS Neutron and Muon Science and the UK Catalysis Hub.

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project supervised by Dr Alexander O’Malley in the Department of Chemistry and Dr Jeff Armstrong from ISIS Neutron and Muon Science

The project will combine simulation techniques with methods such as quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) and neutron vibrational spectroscopy (INS) to study the diffusion and reaction behaviour of biomass derivatives such as furfurals, in comparison with similar sized but less oxygenated crude oil components in acidic zeolite catalysts. Candidates will have a unique opportunity to perform experiments using world-class national facilities, alongside complementary simulation methods to gain insight into a crucial chemical process of the future.

The student would also make developments in the simulation led data analysis of neutron experiments, and would therefore gain a unique range of skills in catalysis, neutron scattering, molecular modelling and software development.

The project will be based in the UK Catalysis Hub in Harwell, Oxfordshire, where the student can take advantage of the world class catalyst characterisation and testing facilities, and proximity to the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. 

For more information and to apply please visit

The deadline for applications is Sunday, March 22, 2020.

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