Applications are invited for a three-year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on thermal and catalytic biomass conversion processes for bio-fuels and bio-chemicals.
BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT:
Considering the shortage of fossil fuels and the increasing demand for fuels and chemicals, it has been necessary to explore alternative sources in order to cope with the fossil fuel deficit. Biomass is a widely available renewable feedstock, which can be processed to obtain bio-fuels or bio-chemicals.
This studentship will explore different physical and chemical processing stages for biomass, in order to obtain high-value fuels and chemicals. Particularly focusing on the upgrading of pyrolysis products. The combination of biomass conversion and products upgrading is a common practice in biorefineries, where biomass is fractionated to make high-value products for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, transportation, energy sector, construction, etc. Diverse experimental and analytic techniques will be used in combination in order to characterise and optimise both feedstocks and products.
This studentship is offered in association with the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) collaboration, which is designed to provide scholars with a broader grounding in their research area during their PhD. Some additional components of research training and specially tailored events will be provided by ERA.
The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Chemical Engineering or a closely related area. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of thermochemical processing of biomass and biomass model compounds, acid hydrolysis, catalytic process design and characterisation, bio-fuels, bio-chemicals, and biorefineries.
We would particularly like to encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recently recognised by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive environment and family atmosphere.
For informal enquiries about this project and similar PhD opportunities, contact Dr Paula Blanco-Sanchez ([email protected]
). Application process is via the official Aston University website.
Applications must also be accompanied by a research proposal giving an overview of the main themes of the research, and explaining how your knowledge and experience will benefit the project.