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Modelling surfactant enhanced aquifer remediation across different length scales

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Masoud Babaei
    Dr V Niasar
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The groundwater resources are in dire threat worldwide as the soil is polluted with industrial leakage of hydrocarbon liquids from surface. In the UK alone, according to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, by June 2016, around 300,000 hectares of UK soil are thought to be contaminated with toxic elements as a result of the UK’s industrial past. According to European Environmental Agency, soil contamination requiring clean-up is present at approximately 250,000 sites in the EEA member countries. An engineering solution to this problem is to wash (or remediate) the soil using surfactant solutions that act similar to detergents used in washing the dishes. The process involves mixing fluids with miscible/vanishing interfaces. While the physics of the process has been intensively studied in literature, crucially the connection between the dynamics of process at different length scales is only made through phenomenological and ad-hoc relationships.

Aligning with EPSRC Grant EP/R009678/1 (, the project aims to integrate and enhance recent progresses made in upscaling (averaging the solutions obtained from microscopic scale pore network modelling or phase field approach) and multiscale modelling to provide
(i) better understanding the multiscale physical processes of soil remediation
(ii) novel insight into the key influential parameters that determine the efficiency of soil remediation processes using surfactant

Candidates should ideally have a First or 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical, Chemical or Petroleum Engineering. Additional background, knowledge or experience in computer programming as well as basic knowledge of the above mentioned modelling software packages will be valuable assets. Successful candidates will be enrolled in the 3-year Ph.D. program of the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science.

Self-funded student are also welcome to apply.

Funding Notes

Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £13,863) for eligible UK and EU applicants. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend). Other EU nationals may be eligible for a fees-only award. Self-funded applicants are also welcome.

Candidates should have a First/2:1 degree in Mechanical, Chemical or Petroleum Engineering, or Computational Fluid Dynamics. Knowledge/experience in computer programming and standard modelling software packages hydrodynamics are desirable.

How good is research at University of Manchester in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Chemical Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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