Sustainable fuels and chemicals from the integrated conversion of biowastes PhD

Entry requirements
2:1 +
Full-time
3 years
Start date
April or July 2019
Application deadline
January 2019
Reference number
CG-JLW-1814
UK / EU fee
Not applicable
International fee
TBC
Location
Loughborough

Overview

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

Biomass-derived fuels, materials and chemicals are expected to play an important role in reducing our reliance on fossil resources, reducing carbon emissions and facilitating the transition towards a more sustainable economy. To minimise adverse effects on other areas (e.g. food production), biomass should be obtained from non-arable resources. These can be converted using different biological or thermochemical processes to yield products such as alcohols, biogas, bio-oils and biochars. However, many processes suffer from low product yields and quality, high processing costs and the production of harmful side products, which inhibit their commercial application.

This PhD will focus on two promising biomass conversion processes, anaerobic digestion and hydrothermal liquefaction. Both processes can convert wet biomass, eliminating the need for energy-intensive drying, and can be applied to a wide range of feedstocks. By combining different technologies and carefully integrating the process, the project will seek innovative solutions to address current barriers to commercialisation. Particular focus will be placed on the analysis of the different reaction product phases and their impact on downstream processing. The experimental work will be supplemented with process modelling to obtain material and energy balances and evaluate the overall process economics. In addition, the project is expected to involve close collaboration with industry and research groups in Cambridge, Bath, Manchester and other UK and international institutions.

Funding

The studentship is for 3 years and provides:

  • a tax free stipend of £14,777 per annum for a duration of the PhD
  • plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate

International (non-EU) students may apply, but the total value of the studentship will be used to cover the cost of the International tuition fee.

Application details:

Reference number: CG-JLW-1814

Start date: April or July 2019               

Closing date: 17 January 2019

Supervisors:

Primary supervisor: Dr. Jonathan Wagner

Secondary supervisor: Dr. Mark Leaper

Contact details:

Name: Jonathan Wagner

Email address: J.L.Wagner@lboro.ac.uk

Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 222546

Why you should choose us

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, a first class or upper second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemical Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or knowledge/experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: thermochemical processing of biomass, anaerobic digestion, catalyst development, biorefineries, process modelling, life cycle analysis.

Afghanistan

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Afghanistan 95% 85% 70%

Albania

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Albania 9.5 8.5 8

Armenia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Armenia - percentage 90% 80% 70%
Armenia - GPA 3.9 3.5 3.0

Austria

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Austria A (or 1.5) mit Auszeichnungbestanden 60% or B or 3.0 (or 2) 50% or C or 2.7 (or 3)

Barbados

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Barbados - classification 1st 2:1 2:2
Barbados - letter grading A B (or 75%) C (or 55%)
Barbados - GPA 3.6 3.0 2.0

Benin

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Benin 18 15 or Bien 12 or Assez Bien

Bolivia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Bolivia 85/78 75/66 67/55

Bosnia and Herzegovina

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 9 8

Botswana

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Botswana - master's degree A or 80% B or 70% C or 60%

Costa Rica

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Costa Rica 9 8 or 80 or Notable 7.0 or 70 or Sufficiente

Dominican Republic

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Dominican Republic 3.8 Magna Cum Laude 3.5 or 85% Cum Laude 3.2 or 82%

El Salvador

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
El Salvador 8.5 or 85% 7.5 or 75% or Muy Bueno 6.5 or 65% or Bueno

Estonia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Estonia 5 or A 4 or B 3 or C

Ethiopia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Ethiopia - master's A/GPA 4.0 A/GPA 3.5 B/GPA 2.8

Georgia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Georgia 5 (95%) 4.5 (85%) 4 (75%)

Grenada

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Degree from University of West Indies - classification 1st 2:1 2:2
Degree from University of West Indies - letter grading A B or 75% C or 55%
Degree from University of West Indies - GPA 3.6 3.0 2.0

Guatemala

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Guatemala - Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala - 80% 60%
Guatemala - private university - 85% 70%

Guyana

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Guyana - master's - Pass with distinction or GPA 4.0 -

Hungary

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Hungary 5 4 3

Iceland

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Iceland 8.5 7.5 6.5

Ivory Coast

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Ivory Coast 16 14 (Bien) 12 (Assez Bien)

Jamaica

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Jamaica - the University of West Indies or degrees accredited by UCJ and CCCJ 1st (GPA 3.6) 2:1 (GPA 3.0) or B 2:2 (GPA 2.0) or C

Latvia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Latvia 9 7 6

Liberia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Liberia - master's 4.0 or 90% 3.5 or 85% 3 or 80%

Mauritius

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Mauritius 1st or 70% 2:1 or 60% 2:2 or 50%

Nepal

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Nepal - master's (after 3 year bachelor degree) 90% or 3.9 GPA 80% or 3.8 GPA 70% or 3.3 GPA

Nicaragua

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Nicaragua - 80% 70%

Panama

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Panama 91 (A) 81 (B) 71 (C)

Papua New Guinea

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Papua New Guinea 1st 2:1 2:2

Paraguay

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Paraguay - 4 3.5

Senegal

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Senegal - 14/20 or bien 12/20 or Assez Bien

Serbia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Serbia 9 8.25 7.5

Sierra Leone

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Sierra Leone - classification - 2:1 2:2
Sierra Leone - percentage grading - 60-69% 50-59%
Sierra Leone - letter grading - B+ B

Slovakia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Slovakia 1.5 or B 2.0 or C 2.5 or C/high D

Sweden

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Sweden - Overall grade of VG with a minimum of 90 credits at VG Overall grade of G with a minimum of 90 credits at G

Tajikistan

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Tajikistan - 4.5 4

Trinidad and Tobago

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Trinidad and Tobago - University of the West Indies or degrees accredited by ACTT 1st 2:1 2:2

Uruguay

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Uruguay 10/12 8/12 or MB or 90% 6.5/12 or B or 80%

Zambia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Zambia - master's - B+ or 3.5 or 70% -

Zimbabwe

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Zimbabwe - 65% 60%

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

How to apply

Please quote reference number: CG-JLW-1814

All applications should be made online.  Under programme name, select “Chemical Engineering”.

Applications need to include an up-to-date CV and letter of motivation for the advertised project. International applicants need to provide clear details of how they would plan to cover their living expenses.

Apply now