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Can sewage biosolids be converted to hydrogen and platform green chemicals whilst breaking down bacterial pathogen content, and anthropogenic chemicals?

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

USW DTA Energy Studentship

“BIOACE” Biorefining Sewage Biosolids for Energy and Green Chemicals

USW is part of the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) in Energy, a University Alliance initiative which aims to deliver a new approach to postgraduate research opportunities. It builds on the research strengths and industry-focused ethos of Alliance universities, offering fully funded postgraduate programmes which deliver excellent research with real world impact, an expert network of support and potential employment opportunities for researchers. Students will be based at USW and there will be opportunities for the candidate to share and engage with other PhD students and researchers in one of the biggest DTA programmes in the UK.

The student will receive comprehensive training in not only the area of the project but also will acquire practical innovation and entrepreneurial expertise. This will include attendance at the DTA Training Schools and access to a bespoke ‘elective programme’ hosted across the network of universities. You will be provided with excellent training and supported in your development as an independent researcher.

Project details

“BIOACE” is a research project co-funded by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) to develop a biorefinery concept where sewage biosolids are converted to either hydrogen or platform chemicals, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing an alternative to fossil fuel chemicals as part of a future circular economy.

Aim and hypothesis

The aim of the project is to replace conventional sewage biosolids treatment with a biorefinery concept to achieve the benefits of a fully circular economy. The hypothesis to be tested is, “Can sewage biosolids be converted to hydrogen and platform green chemicals whilst breaking down bacterial pathogen content, and anthropogenic chemicals.”

The successfully candidate will be joining the SERC team, an experienced and leading energy and environment research team in collaboration with DCWW, one of the largest energy consumers and employers in Wales.

For informal enquiries about the project, please contact Professor Alan Guwy

Eligibility criteria

Applicants should have a degree (2i or higher) in an appropriate discipline.

Studentship details

The successful applicant will receive a tax-free bursary of £14,777 per annum, tuition fees paid (at the Home/EU rate) and £1500 per year for travel and subsistence to enable interaction between collaborating organisations.


To apply please visit:

A research proposal is not required for this studentship.

Please select MPhil/PhD (Science) when applying and clearly state on your application that you are applying for a DTA Energy Studentship.

For further information on the process, please contact Ms Llinos Spargo in the Graduate School

Closing date:

Friday 1st March. Interviews: during March (date TBC). Start date: Monday 1st April 2019.

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