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Developing Microalgae Cultivation for Brewery Waste Remediation and Resource Recovery

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Pandhal
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Microalgae have been demonstrated to be fast growing, single-celled, versatile microbes, which that have the ability to grow in a wide range of conditions with relatively simple growth requirements. This project will involve working closely with a local brewery and looking to use microalgal strains (in consortia with bacteria) to clean up their liquid waste effluents. Optimising process parameters to maximise remediation is a major goal of the project, in addition to characterising the biomass as a source of multiple resources e.g. bioplastics, industrial chemical precursors, bio-actives etc. The project will therefore also involve downstream processing and promising “conversion of biomass” technologies.

The successful candidate will receive training in algal biotechnology, including microbiology, molecular biology and pilot scale cultivation. They will also benefit from expertise in design and analysis of experimental data as well as ‘omics technologies at the forefront of biomanufacturing.

Biological engineering is one of the fastest growing employment sectors and many of our PhD graduates have found employment in the analytical field through to research and development in biotechnology/biopharmaceutical/bioanalytical industries.

The project supervisor currently leads a group of 7 PhD students, 1 PDRA and a Research Technician with access to microbiology and molecular biology facilities as well as cutting-edge mass spectrometers.

See for a video our recent research and for the group website.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a first-class honors degree in biological/chemical engineering, chemistry or microbiology. The student is expected to have an interest in biological solutions to industrial problems and an understanding of algal biotechnology would be advantageous but not essential, as training will be provided. Working knowledge at the interface of chemistry and biology would be a highly desirable.

English as a first language or IELTS score of 6.5 or above, with at least 6.0 in each component.

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