MChem student virtual placement and first author success

4th year MChem student Kira Mulcahy secured a virtual placement with the Faraday Institute over the summer and is named as first author in RSC Green Chemistry article.

Congratulations to 4th year MChem student Kira Mulcahy, who secured a prestigious virtual placement at the Faraday Institute over the summer. Part of her work involved generating a Critical Review on debondable adhesives that has recently been published with her as first author.  

Over the summer Kira completed a FUSE Internship with the Faraday Institution and the University of Leicester, as part of the ReLiB (recycling lithium-ion batteries) project. Currently, the recycling of many green technologies is limited by the presence of adhesives, which are time-confusing and difficult to remove.

Kira researched debondable adhesives as a potential solution to this issue, producing a critical review, which classified adhesives by chemistries and debonding stimuli, and evaluated their potential in green technologies.

Commenting on the internship and being named a first author Kira said; ‘I am very proud and excited that this review has now been published in Green Chemistry and that my corresponding summary poster won the FUSE poster prize for ‘Best Visual Appeal’. I owe huge thanks to Professor Andrew Abbott and Dr. Sandy Kilpatrick, from the University of Leicester, and to Dr. Gavin Harper from the University of Birmingham, for the incredible support they provided throughout this project and making my internship such a rewarding learning experience.’   

Kira went on to describe the review: 

Glues and other adhesives are widely used in green technologies such as: electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines and photovoltaic cells. They are typically easy to use and cheap, with high strength that persists throughout a material’s lifetime. However, the same strength that makes these adhesives useful, causes issues at end-of-life, where recycling or re-use requires components to be 'unstuck' and separated.   Kira’s critical review looked at debondable adhesives as a solution to this issue, considering adhesives which ‘unstick’ on application of light, heat, magnetic fields, electric fields, ultrasound and/or chemical stimuli. This allows easy separation of parts and effective recycling, which is essential given the projected increase in green technologies. 

Commenting on Kira’s achievement, Professor Guy Lloyd-Jones FRS from the School of Chemistry said; ‘We are extremely proud of what Kira has achieved in both her virtual placement and being named first author in Green Chemistry. Her hard work and dedication have really paid off and we look forward to seeing what Kira does next.’

View the RSC Green Chemistry article:Debondable adhesives and their use in recycling - Green Chemistry (RSC Publishing)


Kira Mulcahy