A deep dive into the understanding of the water adsorption hysteresis phenomena in porous materials at The University of Edinburgh

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Water is an essential molecule for life. It is omnipresent on Earth and in various forms. This provides the opportunity to harvest water even if it is not present as a liquid, for example, in arid regions. On the other hand, the presence of water, even at very low concentrations, poses serious challenges when a product needs to be dry, for example, to avoid condensation and formation of acidic components during pipeline transportation of CO2. Adsorption on porous materials provides effective solutions for those challenges. Porous materials can concentrate water in their pores very efficiently, which holds great potential for water harvesting. Also, porous materials can reduce the water content in gasses very efficiently to sub-ppm levels. The fundamental understanding of adsorption principles is of paramount importance for the proper selection of porous materials and the development of adsorption-based applications. Therefore, in this context, the PhD candidate will explore in-depth water adsorption phenomena on porous materials, and in particular the peculiarity of adsorption hysteresis. The candidate will design and build a dedicated setup to study water adsorption thermodynamics and diffusion processes in porous materials and relate the obtained results to material properties. The project is in collaboration with an industrial partner and will also involve a secondment to their research centre.

Please note, the closing date is 31st January 2024 but this position may close earlier if a suitable candidate is found.


Brandani S. and Mangano E. Direct Measurement of the Mass Transport Coefficient of Water in Silica-Gel Using the Zero Length Column Technique, Energy, 2022, 239A, 121945


Centineo A. and Brandani S. Measurement of Water Vapor Adsorption Isotherms in Mesoporous Materials Using the Zero Length Column Technique. Chem. Eng. Sci., 2020, 115417   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2019.115417

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