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Biodegradable fibres for the sustainable manufacture of antimicrobial face masks

   School of Design

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  Dr Giuseppe Tronci, Dr T Do  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The limited biodegradability of synthetic polymers (other than aliphatic polyesters) and the polymerisation of petroleum hydrocarbons pose inherent challenges to their long-term use. This is due to the greenhouse gas emissions during the production and the accumulation of microplastics in the environment.

This situation has been exacerbated by the current pandemic, which has resulted in an unprecedented rise of disposable face masks. There is a pressing need for petroleum-free biodegradable polymers that can replace current synthetic polymers with the same performance. Applicants are invited to apply for a fully funded PhD programme to deliver on this vision by exploiting the metabolic activity of bacteria to accomplish new polymer libraries. This research ultimately aims to develop biodegradable fibres for the sustainable manufacture of antimicrobial facemasks that minimise disease transmission and reduce plastic pollution.

The applicant must have a good background in biopolymer chemistry and/or microbiology, with a good understanding of polymer fibres and technical textiles also desirable.

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or another appropriate undergraduate or Masters discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree.

English language requirements

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

Funding Notes

This is a highly competitive scholarship consisting of the award of fees with an annual maintenance grant of 17,688 GBP for 3 years.
The Scholarships are available to start as soon as possible. All candidates will be assessed and selection is based on academic merit.

Open days

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