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e-Biofuels from CO2 conversion (Ref: Renu20-16)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2020.

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate to join this interdisciplinary cutting-edge project on e-biofuel production.
Fuels from alternative resources rather than petrochemicals are essential to transition to a low carbon future with reduced green gas emission to tackle climate change, whilst meeting energy security. Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is a promising way using microorganisms and renewable energy to convert CO2 to fuels and chemicals. The aim of this project is to develop a sustainable and scalable Bioelectrochemical System (BES) using microbial electrosynthesis (MES) to synthesize bio-fuels, such as butanol and hexanol, with high selectivity and efficiency. The benefit of this approach is to produce target biochemicals with increased carbon efficiency, limited use of additives for redox balance or pH control, enhanced microbial growth, and enhanced product recovery.
We welcome applicants with background of Biotechnology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and relevant subjects. This project is a part of EPSRC ReNU CDT and in collaboration with Shell Research. You will have the chance to interact with other students in the CDT, and industrial partners. You will have the opportunity to work with a group of passionate and supportive researchers across different disciplines, and learn different techniques and skills, as well as practice problem solving methods to tackle one of the challenges the world is facing.

If you are interested and up for the challenge, please contact us.
This project is supervised by Dr Eileen Yu. For enquiries about the project, please contact .

How to apply:
Applicant should include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words and include the advert reference number.

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system at https://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/. You will need to:
• Insert the programme code 8208F in the programme of study section
• Select PhD Energy Materials as the programme of study
• Insert the advert reference number (e.g. renu20-02) in the studentship/partnership reference field
• Attach a covering letter and CV, quote code (e.g. renu20-02), and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
• Attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 1st Class (Hons) or 2:1; or a Masters (preference for Merit or above) in an appropriate subject area.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Newcastle University of elsewhere.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers full Home fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rates (for 2019/20, this was £15,009 pa). Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Please note that the scholarship award is set at the Home/EU level of fees. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. Note that up to 4 offers of a PhD place will be made for the ReNU CDT projects advertised by Newcastle University.

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