Becca Kirk

I come from Nottingham and studied my undergraduate degree in biological chemistry and MSc in green chemistry at the University of York. I moved to Camborne School of Mines to start my PhD on the natural biogeochemistry of lithium and environmental impacts of lithium mining.

My research interests highly link with the improvement of environmental impacts to necessary processes, and where possible the minimisation, remediation and valorisation of wastes. Therefore, coming into the PhD I hope to make contributions to reduce and optimise the environmental impact of lithium mining, and aid in the use of more environmentally friendly ways of getting the lithium we need for the increasing demand we are seeing globally! I’m part of the GeoNetZero CDT programme which focuses at looking at geosciences to aid in the goals for a net zero carbon economy.

The best thing about living in Cornwall is the beaches, ┬áthere’s always somewhere to go for a swim or surf no matter what the weather is like!

My favourite minerals are the zeolites because of their hundreds of different applications. They’re called the ‘molecular sieves’ because of their ability to selectively filter out particular ions making them a valuable tool for uses such as water treatment and gas separation. Not only this, but they’re widely used as catalysts in so many different chemical processes, meaning that they can be used to make lots of reactions faster and more efficient. They can also be used to make fluorescent lights as they can make silver emit light naturally! With all their uses, scientists have optimised making these synthetically for so many uses, but zeolites naturally occur where volcanic rocks and ash layer with the alkaline groundwater.

Rebecca Kirk

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