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Bioelectrochemical systems for remediation and resource recovery

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship to develop bioelectrochemical systems (BES) for remediation and resource recovery, in the Food, Water, Waste Research Group (FWW), Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham (UoN). The Faculty of Engineering at Nottingham is known for its world-class research, inspirational teaching, and diverse academic community. More than 98% of our research is of international quality, with 85% graded as ’world-leading’ or ’internationally excellent’ (2014 Research Excellence Framework REF). We are ranked 1st for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 2nd for Chemical Engineering, 5th for Architecture, and 7th for Civil Engineering in the Guardian University Guide 2019.

Global environmental and societal challenges, such as the need for clean and renewable energy sources, provide adequate sanitation, and recover resources from waste streams for a circular economy, have driven worldwide research on bioelectrochemical systems (BES). These systems are a wide group of rapidly developing biotechnologies, which combine biological and electrochemical processes to generate electricity, hydrogen or other useful chemicals, recover metals, desalinate water or remediate substrates.

This project aims to develop novel approaches to wastewater treatment based on bioelectrochemical systems, to implement an integrated treatment focused on resource recovery, producing bioenergy and enabling degradation of emerging contaminants. Emerging contaminants are a new, complex issue representing a challenge to global water quality, due to many of these representing potentially high risks to human health and the environment. In particular, the release of antibiotics into the environment through wastewaters is one of the causes of the global rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.

The UoN Centre for Dairy Science Innovation (CDSI), £6M state-of-the-art dairy centre with 360 high-yielding Holstein cows, operates commercially and offers the latest research technologies for studying a range of dairy-related topics, including wastewater treatment. CDSI is part of the national “Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock” (CIEL), one of four UK Centres of Agricultural Innovation created by funding from Innovate UK. The UoN farm in Sutton Bonington offers the opportunity for investigating management and control of slurry wastewaters
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This project will focus on resource recovery (energy, nutrients, and metals) from dairy slurry, simultaneously removing/degrading antibiotics using bioelectrochemical systems.

Funding Notes

For UK/EU candidates, the studentship will cover PhD tuition fees (at the UK/EU rate) and a tax-free stipend for three years. International students are eligible to apply but the award will cover only the international tuition fees.

The preferred candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or upper 2:1 honours degree or a distinction or high merit at MSc level (or international equivalent) in biotechnology, microbiology, environmental engineering, environmental sciences, chemical engineering, or a relevant discipline. The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated with a disciplined work ethic and good team-working skills.

How good is research at University of Nottingham in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 149.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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