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EPSRC supported EngD project. Modelling the milling of cocoa liquor

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, February 29, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The ability to control particle size distribution (PSD) is pivotal to the chocolate sector, impacting rheology, thermal stability and cooling contraction. Close control of milled slurries enables product specifications to be met and optimised to maximise desirable effects such as taste and mouthfeel. Many methods of milling exist however the potential for optimisation is limited without better understanding. This project is concerned with stirred ball milling of cocoa liquor slurries whereby modelling and simulation of design and process parameters will increase the processing knowledge and ability to optimise and scale up.

This improved operational understanding will subsequently satisfy green credentials through better process control, reduction of out-of-spec waste and energy efficiency design optimisation. To simulate the flowrate, power consumption and the collision kinetics, model coupling is required. For successful simulation, the Discrete Element Methodology (DEM) will be used in conjunction with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). DEM-CFD will simulate the motion of the stainless-steel grinding media and the cocoa liquor slurry to predict velocities, collision modes, frequency, energy etc which will then enable implementation of comminution population balance models.. These numerical models will be validated through experimental data techniques such as Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT). Furthermore, experimental evaluation of milling efficiency will be conducted at lab and pilot scale for correlation and validation of the population balance kernels.

To be eligible for EPSRC funding candidates must have at least a 2(1) in an Engineering or Scientific discipline or a 2(2) plus MSc. Please email your c.v. to . For more details on the Engineering Doctorate scheme please visit

Funding Notes

Tax free bursary of £ 20,500 p.a plus fees paid

Related Subjects

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.50

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

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