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Chemical Recycling of Plastics: A Life Cycle Approach

  • Full or part time
    Prof Marcelle McManus
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, April 24, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The most effective method to deal with plastic waste and associated impact is a significant challenge. Once collected, either mechanical or feedstock-based recycling can be undertaken. Mechanical recycling is time consuming and the resultant polymer is low grade and has limited applications. Feedstock, or chemical, recycling instead considers the waste as a source of valuable chemical products. However, there are different approaches to feedstock recycling: depolymerisation, partial oxidation and cracking. This PhD research will undertake an LCA of mixed plastic waste (MPW) feedstock recycling. Initially the work will explore all options in order to determine major potential process “hot spots”. Working in conjunction with others in the Hub the work will enable the optimisation of carbon, energy (and potentially cost) benefits in plastics recycling. The work will not only enable the process to be optimised, but will be used to help policy makers determine incentives and legislation.

Based in Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (www.csct.ac.uk), the project will be supervised by Professors Matthew Davidson (Chemistry) and Marcelle McManus (Mechanical Engineering) at Bath. It will be a key component of a larger multidisciplinary research team involving Bath, Manchester and Cardiff as part of the recently funded £14M EPSRC UK Catalysis Hub (www.catalysishub.co.uk) which is focused on building the UK economy through designing new catalysts and processes for clean water, sustainable energy and low carbon, resource efficient manufacturing of fuels, plastics and chemicals.

The project aims to contribute to the optimisation of carbon, energy (and potentially cost) benefits in plastics recycling. The work will not only enable the process to be optimised, but will be used to help policy makers determine incentives and legislation for plastic waste.

Informal enquiries about the project should be directed to Prof Matthew Davidson, .

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering:
https://samis.bath.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=RDUME-FP01&code2=0013

On the application form, please ensure that you quote the project title and the names of the supervisors in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:
http://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/how-to-apply-for-doctoral-study/

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019.

Funding Notes

UK and EU candidates applying for this project will be considered for a 3-year studentship covering UK/EU tuition fees, a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 for 2019/20) and a budget for research and training expenses.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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