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About the Project

A major contemporary challenge in industrial manufacturing is the development of sustainable production processes. This includes reduced resource consumption and CO2 generation, and energy efficient operations with maximised product outputs. Several chemical precursors are currently sourced from fossil derived petroleum that is environmentally unsustainable. Microbial routes to the manufacture of simple chemical precursors and complex biopolymers offer sustainable alternatives. Microalgae offer a means of fixing atmospheric CO2, thus providing realistic reduction of carbon emissions and producing valuable chemicals and chemical precursors of high value. Natural pathways exist in microalgae for the production of chemical precursors of value, but these generally translate poorly into production routes per se. However, a combination of engineering and synthetic biology approaches can be used to develop sustainable production processes using microalgae as biorefineries.

The project will address the challenges of developing microalgae as cell factories within a biorefinery concept for the sustainable manufacture of chemicals and biopolymers of value. The emphasis will be on developing engineering strategies and synthetic biology approaches enabled through an understanding of microalgae metabolism and physiology towards development of sustainable manufacturing routes. A focus would be to develop processes that have multiple product pathways - the biorefinery concept. The work will take forward current investigations on microalgae characterisations for carbon sequestration and biofuel productions.

Please see this link for information on how to apply: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cbe/postgraduate/phd/how-apply. Please include the name of your proposed supervisor and the title of the PhD project within your application.

Applicants must have achieved or expect to achieve a first class or 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline in (Bio)Chemical/Environmental Engineering or Bioscience/Microbiology/Molecular biology. A strong undergraduate background in molecular biology or chemical/biochemical engineering, with an interest in sustainable biomanufacturing, microalgae physiology, and/or synthetic biology is desired. If English is not your first language then you must have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component, or equivalent. Please see this link for further information: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/english-language.


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