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Biorefining of seafood processing waste (EPS2020/46)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Waste from the processing of fish or shellfish contains a range of valuable co-products (including proteins, oil, carotenoids, carbohydrates and minerals). This project will assess the feasibility of the extraction of valuable by-products in an integrated biorefining approach.

Up to 50% of processed seafood is not the primary product. For fish this material (bones, skins, viscera) contains significant proportions of protein and oil, as well as lower levels of minerals. For shellfish, protein levels are lower but carbohydrate (principally chitin) is at a significant level, as are high value carotenoids such as astaxanthin. Currently, low value exploitation routes such as fish meal are the preferred, although there are a growing number of smaller companies extracting individual components (such as chitin or carotenoids) with success. Further value can be added to seafood processing waste by combining individual unit separation processes into an integrated biorefinery. This project will investigate the extraction of co-products from seafood processing waste, identifying the most cost-effective and scalable processes and how they can be combined to maximize value from the waste.


All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2020. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype). This scholarship is only open to UK/EU applicants who meet residency requirements set out by EPSRC.

Closing Date

All applications must be received by 28th February 2020. All successful candidates should usually expect to start in September/October 2020.

How to Apply

Apply Online - https://hwacuk.elluciancrmrecruit.com/Admissions/Pages/Login.aspx

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in ‘Study Option’
You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Mechanical engineering PhD, chemical engineering PhD or Bio-engineering and Bio-sciences PhD and select September 2020 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)
(b) in ‘Research Project Information’
You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

Funding Notes

The annual stipend will be approx. £15k per year and full fees will be paid for 3.5 years.

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