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Flower waste valorisation: Towards a sustainable feedstock for the chemical industry - (ENG 1544)


   Faculty of Engineering

  Dr Parimala Shivaprasad  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Did you know countries like India produce approximately 300 kilotons of flower waste per day? Imagine using the flower waste to make high value products for the fine chemical industry!

With an increasing awareness about resource use and government regulation, chemical industries are fast realising the need for sustainable manufacturing. Identifying sustainable alternatives for petrochemical feedstock (like biomass) and using resource efficient technologies (to replace the conventional batch reactor) are two strategies which are fast gaining research and industry attention to enable sustainable production of chemicals. Flowers are an abundant source of terpene alcohols, which are highly versatile molecules and important raw materials for the food, pharmaceutical and the cosmetic industry.

This project will focus on the structural modification of terpene alcohols present in flower waste into functional building blocks for the flavour, fragrance and the polymer industry. The reactions will first be developed on the bench-scale and investigated for reaction kinetics. The best operating parameters will then be used to test the reaction scale-up in the spinning disc and microchannel reactors for continuous production.  The successful candidate will work at the interface of chemical engineering and chemistry and be a part of an interdisciplinary research group. This project will provide the student an extensive training in experimental, analytical and techniques, process scale-up and optimisation. The student will also develop additional skills through participation in research group meetings and seminar presentations.

Application procedure

Prospective candidates should initially contact Dr Parimala Shivaprasad () with a copy of their CV and cover letter, after which a formal application can be made via the University website at: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/apply-online.aspx

Eligibility criteria

Candidates who have, or who are expecting to obtain, a first class or a high 2:1 chemical engineering or chemistry degree will be considered. An MEng/MChem-4-year integrated master’s or a BSc + MSc degree is preferred. Knowledge and/or interest in catalysis, process engineering and waste valorisation will be advantageous.

Closing date

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.


Funding Notes

The PhD position is available from 1st October 2022. The funding is for UK/eligible for home fees students only. This project will include the payment of tuition fees as well as a stipend equivalent to RCUK rates (currently at £16,062 p.a. tax free for 2022/23) awarded to the suitable candidate

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