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Optimising and improving the performance of a hydrogen fuel cell using graphene

Get paid to do a PhD with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University.

Funded PhD linked with Low Dee Membranes Ltd. Ref. No. LU-014
  • Get paid £1,455 per month tax-free till June 2023.
  • Your UK/EU tuition fees are paid (international candidates will need to pay remaining fees). 
  • Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation within a cohort of talented graduates working on exciting business-led research. The Centre was declared “The outstanding knowledge exchange and commercialisation initiative in the UK”.
  • This project is based at Lancaster University, so you will gain your PhD from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2018 and International University of the Year 2020. 
  • You will also work alongside colleagues at partner institutions across the North West.
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.  

Hydrogen is emerging in the clean energy sector as a fantastic way to store renewable energy which can then be converted back to electricity when required, for example in the transport industry. To ensure that the storage cycle is efficient, hydrogen energy conversion devices such as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are needed. However current devices can be inefficient and bulky and will only operate in narrow temperature ranges, which limits their use in parts of the world with more extreme temperatures.


This PhD project will improve the performance of these fuel cells by using graphene to create an optimal fuel cell membrane which can operate in wider temperature regimes and be used for energy storage applications where lithium ion batteries currently dominate. It will investigate what the best operating conditions are for the membrane and which yield the highest power performance.


The successful candidate will have a 2:1 or first degree in physical sciences/engineering, especially in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science, with demonstrated interests in clean and sustainable energy or nanotechnologies.


This PhD will be supervised by two experienced academics from Lancaster Universitys Engineering Department, Richard Dawson and Hungyen Lin.  


Low Dee Membranes Limited is commercialising new graphene technologies, developed under Nobel laureate Andre Geim, to improve proton exchange membranes for hydrogen fuel cells. 



Deadline: EXTENDED to Thursday 24th September 2020

Start: October 2020

This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


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Download the application documents for this project