Supervisor: Dr C Tizaoui, Professor R Palmer, Professor P Holliman and Dr G Lloyd
Sponsoring company: Tata Steel
Steelmaking processes generate several types of residues, including oil contaminated mill sludge and scales, which are mainly generated during the cooling and rolling processes of hot steel.
In Europe alone, it is estimated the steel industry generates over 500,000 tonnes of sludge and mill scale per annum. Such residues can either be recycled internally or landfilled depending on composition.
Landfill disposal route is not only environmentally inacceptable but is expensive due to the hazardous nature of the material. Several methods are used to de-oil waste sludge including for example, thermal extraction, solvent extraction, microwave processing and cleaning with surfactants.
However, these processes are generally expensive, energy intensive, or may generate other residues that require further treatment or disposal costs. This project will look at alternative routes for cost effective and efficient de-oiling of sludge generated by steel making processes. The research will provide potential for recycling the waste and contribute to the circular economy strategy.
This research will develop and test on laboratory scale, new oxidation technologies for de-oiling sludge and scales at Tata Steel Port Talbot site. The project aims to deliver a new scalable technology, which could lower costs and environmental footprint compared to current technology. This treatment project will also provide opportunities for recycling and reusing steel residues, that would otherwise be wasted at a cost, helping the business to meet environmental legislation and to be resilient for potential shortages in raw material supply.
The Research Engineer will: • Evaluate the removal of oil from oily steel sludge using advanced oxidation processes; • Characterise the surface properties of the oily residues before and after treatment; • Functionalise the treated particles to produce new catalysts and absorbents and evaluate their efficiencies to treat wastewater; • Evaluate the potential of treated oily residues for reuse and recycling; • Develop a technico-economic and sustainability evaluation of the technology.
Eligibility We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level, to join the M2A community of research engineers.
Please visit our website for more information on eligibility.
The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a. for a period of four years.