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About the Project

Single use plastic is a major environmental concern that is urgently in need of innovative solutions. Microalgae are photosynthetic organisms that can be employed to develop processes that are environmentally sustainable. This includes reduced resource consumption and CO2 generation, and energy efficient operations with maximised product outputs. Plastics are currently sourced from fossil derived petroleum that is environmentally unsustainable. Microalgal routes to the manufacture of simple chemical precursors that enable the synthesis of bioplastics offer sustainable alternatives. These plastics can also be synthesised in a way to ensure biodegradability, leaving little trace in the environment. Microalgae offer a means of fixing atmospheric CO2, thus providing realistic reduction of carbon emissions in the production of bioplastics.

The project will build on our earlier work and address the challenges of developing microalgae based bioprocesses for the sustainable manufacture of bioplastics. The emphasis will be on developing engineering strategies and process economics enabled through an understanding of microalgae metabolism and physiology towards accumulation and synthesis of bioplastic precursors.

Please see this link for information on how to apply: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cbe/postgraduate/phd/how-apply. Please include the name of your proposed supervisor and the title of the PhD project within your application.

Applicants must have achieved or expect to achieve a first class or 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline in Chemistry, Chemical/Biochemical/Materials Engineering or Bioscience/Microbiology/Molecular biology. A strong undergraduate background in material science or chemical/biochemical engineering, with an interest in sustainable biomanufacturing, microalgae physiology, and/or material science is desired. If English is not your first language then you must have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component, or equivalent. Please see this link for further information: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/english-language.


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