Developing Defective Metal Oxides as Heterogeneous Oxidation Reaction Catalysts

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Catalytic oxygen activation is a key reaction in many important systems such as fuel cells designed for using sustainable fuels (e.g. hydrogen) or for environmental remediation (e.g. wet air oxidation). Oxygen activation catalysts used in these processes comprise a noble/transition metal deposited on a metal oxide support and can be costly and limited in availability. Recently, we have discovered a range of simple metal oxide catalysts (non-metallic) which, upon surface defect introduction, can catalytically activate oxygen under mild conditions.
The project aims to advance and understand the defective metal oxide catalysts as a cheap and earth-abundant alternative to metal-based catalysts.

The ideal candidate will have some experience in heterogeneous catalysis and skills in the characterisation and analysis of particulate materials. Experience with first principles calculations (e.g. Density Functional Theory (DFT) modelling) would be beneficial although is not critical. The candidate should also be able to work in a team environment.

Supervisory team
Jason
Scott

Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Patrick
Burr

Engineering
Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications
Rose
Amal

Engineering
Chemical Engineering
jason.scott@unsw.edu.au