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Postgraduate research project

Investigation of Nanol Lubricant Additive - An Industrially Sponsored Project

Competition funded View fees and funding
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

This project will help you achieve a unique set of skills and expertise to become a world’s leading specialist in the lubrication of efficient technologies.

The reliable operation of lubricated mechanical systems and components is enabled by the performance additives in the lubricant formulation. To maintain the trouble-free operation of mechanical equipment these additives must reduce friction and wear and also prevent metal fatigue. The cost of replacement and disposal of the used oil is substantial.

It is therefore desirable to use performance additives based on green chemistry. Ideally, the additives should be capable of regenerating themselves and thus, the lubricant can be used for prolonged periods, with extended intervals between oil changes to increase sustainability. Also, the additives should reduce greenhouse gas emissions, slow the rate and extent of global warming, as well as enable the transition to clean and renewable energy.

Novel additives that contain nanoparticles have shown great potential for sustainable and outstanding performance. Copper nanoparticles in particular have unique tribological properties. They can penetrate small gaps between moving parts and form a cohesive protective tribofilm which prevents metal fatigue under high contact stresses.

The additive can regenerate itself avoiding depletion and continuing to protect metal surfaces with no performance loss, which boosts sustainability. The chemistry of this process is environmentally friendly and safe while the nanoadditive can be made from recycled copper that contributes to the circular economy. Due to these advantageous features, the copper nanoadditive can be a game-changer to help solve lubrication problems.

The experimental project will investigate specific aspects of copper nanoparticles such as their synthesis and regeneration processes along with the mechanisms by which they deliver their superior tribological performance. This research will contribute to the improvement of the Nanol copper nanoadditive but also to the development of other novel lubricants which work in a similar manner.

The PhD candidate will have the opportunity at the end of the studies to take up employment based in London with Nanol Technologies. This project is also an excellent opportunity to publish your research in high impact factor journals.