National Nuclear Laboratory

Jonathan Harding

  • The University of Liverpool – Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics
  • Academic Supervisors: Xin TuKarl Whittle
  • Industrial Supervisor: Jay Dunsford
  • Project timeline: Oct 2018 to Sep 2022
  • Research areas of interest: Plasma-Catalysis, Organic liquid waste treatment, Plasma liquid interactions
  • Academic Qualifications: Master of Chemistry with Year Abroad – Cardiff University
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There is a significant amount of irradiated liquid waste in storage due to inadequate treatment options. My research is focused on combining non-thermal plasma and catalysis to develop a method to treat this organic liquid waste. Non-thermal plasma provides an attractive alternative to conventional decomposition routes. High reaction rates and fast attainment of the steady state in plasma processing allows for a rapid start-up and shutdown of the process compared to other thermal treatments, reducing the overall energy cost considerably and offering a promising and flexible route for industrial applications. The further inclusion of catalysts has great potential to generate a synergistic effect, significantly enhancing the plasma process. Alongside my experimental testing plasma chemical kinetic modelling will be developed, in combination with advanced plasma diagnostics, to help me understand the roles of different reactive species in plasma oxidation, as well as the possible reaction pathways and mechanisms involved in the hybrid plasma-catalytic process. I really enjoy this project, and working with the NNL for my PhD, as it allows me to do interdepartmental work as well as working with a range of experts who do state of the art technological work in their respective fields.