PhD Scholarship in Liquid Metal Catalysts for Green Fuels and Co2 Mitigation

ARC funded DECRA project on the chemistry of room temperature liquid metals. The PhD student will develop new catalytic materials for applications in green fuel synthesis and CO2 mitigation.

Industrial CO2 emissions are a major concern due to global warming. Negative emission technologies that actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere are believed to become a necessity for stabilising the climate. The catalytic conversion of CO2 to synthetic fuels and other value-added products is a promising pathway to achieve this goal, while simultaneously providing a method for storing renewable energy generated from intermittent sources such as solar cells and wind. One key challenge encountered when designing CO2 reduction catalysts is catalyst-deactivation due to coking.

Non-toxic, room temperature liquid metals have recently been discovered to be highly resistant to coking. Furthermore, the surface of liquid metals can be tuned through alloy design, providing an ideal platform for creating highly active catalysts.

This project will investigate novel catalytic systems with applications in CO2 reduction. Furthermore, the project will focus on novel prototype designs that take full advantage of the liquid state of the electrode. The materials will be produced utilising methods that have been developed in our research group. The synthesis of the materials is straightforward and limited pre-existing synthetic chemistry skills are required. The PhD candidate will prepare the materials and will then conduct a thorough characterisation using multiple electron microscopy based techniques as well as optical and electronic characterisations. The developed materials will then be integrated into traditional and emerging prototype reactor designs.

Scholarship is valued at up to $31,000 per annum for three years with a possible six-month extension.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

  • Have a first-class Honours or equivalent in materials engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, physics or related disciplines
  • Meet RMIT University’s entry requirements for the Higher Degree by Research programs.

To apply, please submit your curriculum vitae and academic transcripts via email to Dr. Torben Daeneke at

Prospective candidates will be required to submit an application for admission to the PhD Chemical Engineering program (DR217) as per instructions available on the School of Engineering website.

Scholarship applications will only be successful if prospective candidates are provided with an offer for admission.

Applications are open now.

Applications will close when the position is filled.

This scholarship will be governed by RMIT University's Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions.

Dr. Torben Daeneke at

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.