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Microalgal Carbon Sequestration Towards a Carbon Negative Economy

   Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering

About the Project

The increasing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere is a major environmental crisis that is in immediate need of innovative solutions. Microalgae are photosynthetic organisms that can be employed to develop processes that can sequester CO2 from the atmosphere, as well as from point sources emitting CO2 in significant amounts, such as power plants. Although well recognised conceptually, implementable solutions require appropriate techno-economic feasibility to tie CO2 sequestration with value-addition to the sequestered carbon and/or biomass. A proper understanding of carbon supply and uptake by microalgae, as well as its routing to products of interest is required to enable solutions that are implementable. Microalgal species display differences in their carbon uptake capacity and in diverting the carbon to products of value. The challenge is in developing a better understanding of carbon uptake and engineering supply solutions that maximise CO2 sequestration to be of value to contribute to the solution matrix.

The project will build on our earlier work and address (a) the challenges of developing an understanding of carbon uptake by microalgae from different industrial sectors, and (b) the challenges of utilising the sequestered carbon towards developing sustainable bioprocesses. The emphasis will be on developing a metabolic insight into carbon uptake and developing engineering strategies combined with microalgae metabolism and physiology towards accumulation of products of value and development of sustainable bioprocesses.

Please see this link for information on how to 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 1st class or 2:1  honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline in Chemistry, Chemical/Biochemical/Environmental Engineering or Bioscience/Microbiology/Molecular biology. A strong undergraduate background in chemical/biochemical/environmental engineering, with an interest in sustainable biomanufacturing, microalgae physiology, and/or environmental engineering/sustainability 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:

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