Pre-doctoral Research Position in Development of Advanced Filters for Heavy Metals Removal from water sources based on Ionic Liquids encapsulation in Metal Organic Framework Porous Materials
The development of highly capacitive, selective and reusable filters for heavy metal removal from polluted water sources is a demand to solve the accidental leakage of background sources of heavy metal contamination arising from mining or industrial activities. In this context, the use of highly porous and tunable Metal Organic Framework (MOF) materials for the heavy metal capture represent a promising future technology to remediate the pollution in the above-mentioned scenarios. Zirconium based MOF materials are highly water stable, even at very acidic or basic media, that possess a high affinity towards the capture of anionic heavy metal species, such as As(V) or Cr(VI). It is well known that their functionalization can improve even more the capacity to capture cationic heavy metal species. Nevertheless, their specificity to adsorb the targeted pollutant in competition with other similar non-toxic metal species is still a challenge to be solved. The innovation of this project is based on the encapsulation of Ionic Liquids (IL) within the pores of the MOF materials, in order to generate specific nano-traps for heavy metal species capture. From a fundamental point, uncovering the disposition of the ionic liquid molecules within the pores of the MOF materials, as well as the heavy metal chemical species generated after their adsorption within the MOF represents a challenging goal that will require from the application of leading experimental and computational studies. Giving a step forward, the incorporation of the composite MOF@IL active materials within polymeric supports will allow developing new advanced filters that could be used in real application scenarios.
Three years full-time position exists for a pre-doctoral researcher within the BCMaterials, an independent research center that provides a highly multidisciplinary environment. It is located near Bilbao in the Basque Country, north of Spain. Pre-doctoral position opens the possibility to active participation on ongoing Regional (LIMOFILM) and European (LIMOFILM) projects based on the development of MOF materials, as well as in future ones under evaluation (REESolvE, BioREEAdsorb).The Ph.D. student will have to:
- Synthesize and characterize water stable nano MOF materials.
- Determination of the ionic liquid encapsulation conditions within the MOF porous matrix.
- Establish the water stability of MOF@IL composites.
- Determine their capacity, kinetics, specificity and reusability towards the capture of Cr(VI), Cd(II) and Hg(II) heavy metals.
- Stablish the heavy metal chemical species once they are entrapped within the MOF material.
- Incorporate the MOF@IL composites within PVDF polymeric supports.
- Disseminate the results by submission of papers and participation in international conferences.
After the three years period, he/she must fulfil the requirements to obtain a PhD degree on Materials Science and Technology at the University of the Basque Country. For the successful candidate, the position represents excellent opportunity to develop both collaborative and personal scientific research exploiting the capabilities learnt on functional materials, polymer science, water remediation technologies and leading experimental and computational characterization techniques, under the supervision of internationally recognized scientist.Contacts and Communication
Under the PhD and project supervision, the successful candidate will interact extensively with other researchers in the group, as well as with researchers from other partners of the international collaborations of the BCMaterials. External representation will involve secondments/visits in other research organizations, as well as presentations of their scientific work at the project meetings and scientific conferences.Personal Skills and Attributes.
The position requires:
- Academic degree with a qualification equal or higher than 7.0
- A motivated candidate with a Master on Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry or related areas (not mandatory but recommendable)
- Previous experience in the preparation and characterization of novel materials.
- Fluent English and good interpersonal and presentation skills are also required.
Apply by sending,
- Academic records of your degree.
- Curriculum vitae.
- Contact details for 2 referees.