PhD Position in Clean and Cheap Lithium Production Using Electrochemistry
University of Southampton School of Chemistry
United Kingdom

PhD Studentship - Clean and cheap lithium production using electrochemistry


Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Wednesday 31 August 2022
Reference:  1675622EB

Supervisory Team:    Nuria Garcia-Araez, Philip Bartlett

Project description

The boom in the global lithium battery market cannot be sustained with current methods of lithium production, which can only be applied in limited locations in the world and have a significant carbon impact. Therefore, Cornish Lithium ( is pioneering the sustainable production of lithium from geothermal waters in Cornwall (UK), with the purpose of securing the supply of materials for the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles. However, producing lithium at a competitive cost and with minimal impact to the environment is a big challenge, and in this project we will investigate new electrochemical approaches to achieve this. 

Building on our experience on electrochemical lithium production (ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2020, 8, 16, 6243; ChemSusChem 2021 DOI: 10.1002/cssc.202102182) and materials’ innovation (Science 1997, 278, 838; J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 2251), we will exploit the selectivity of battery materials towards lithium to preferentially extract lithium ions from lithium resources (e.g. geothermal waters) that contain other ions (e.g. sodium) in vast excess. Protective coatings and novel nanostructured materials will be developed to achieve the long-term stability required for commercial applications, and novel cell designs and electrochemical approaches will be developed to take advantage of the thermal energy of geothermal waters to accelerate the reactions. The project will culminate with the demonstration of the new technology at mini-pilot scale at Cornish Lithium facilities. 

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent) in chemistry or allied subjects/relevant disciplines.

Closing date: Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified. 

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2022/23, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Chemistry (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Nuria Garcia-Araez 

Applications should include: 

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Apply online:

For further information about the project, please contact Nuria Garcia Araez: . For general queries about the application process, please contact:  

The School of Chemistry. is committed to promoting equality, diversity inclusivity as demonstrated by our Athena SWAN award. We welcome all applicants regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age, and will give full consideration to applicants seeking flexible working patterns and those who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy, onsite childcare facilities, and offers a range of benefits to help ensure employees’ well-being and work-life balance. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and has been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


All Jobs


Chinese University of Hong Kong

Harvard University Academic Positions

Kuwait University Current Faculty Openings

Osaka University Academic Opportunities

Purdue University Job Postings for Faculty Positions

Texas Tech University Faculty Openings

Tsinghua University Job Postings

University of Cambridge Job Openings

University of Geneva Faculty Opportunities

University of New South Wales Job Openings

University of Nottingham Research Positions

University of Oslo Academic Jobs

University of Saskatchewan Faculty Positions

University of Southampton Research Vacancies

University of Tokyo Current Academic Vacancies

University of Zurich Job Postings