Loughborough University Featured PhD Programmes
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Loughborough University Featured PhD Programmes

Process models for Portland cement manufacturing

School of Engineering

About the Project

Cement is the most ubiquitous product after drinking water, with 4.1B tons produced in 2017 alone, enough for half a ton per person per year worldwide. Its production also accounts for 5% of man-made CO2 emissions, thus any improvement to the production efficiency will have a meaningful change to our environmental impact. Critical to the production process are the calcination and the high-temperature (~1450℃) “clinkering” reaction. The former releases CO2 contained within the limestone used as raw ingredients for the cement, whereas the clinkering reaction requires significant amounts of fuel to reach the required temperature to form the “cementicious” phases.

This PhD will continue our world-leading research in this field (see cited works), focused on improving our understanding of the clinker process, both in developing new formulations and optimising existing systems. The project’s focus will be on developing the process models for the kiln, calciner, cyclones, and clinker cooler, as a general tool. The work is complementary to our recently funded Nanocem Core Project 17 and will form part of the University’s partner project to Nanocem. This means the work is led by industry needs and will work in close collaboration with industrial partners. It will also be involved in ongoing consultancy work for the design of new cement processes.

The approach will be a mixture of theoretical/computational modelling of the heat transfer, mass transfer, and thermodynamics of the system, along with experimental validation and data gathering. There is scope for the student to develop new high-temperature experimental techniques, run pilot-scale trials of new cement processes, and/or develop new computational models according to their own strengths and interests.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Chemical Engineering, physics, chemistry or a related field.

Knowledge of:
Any background in process modelling, python, or C++ is highly desirable.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr M Campbell-Bannerman (), with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

It is possible to undertake this project by distance learning. Interested parties should contact Dr Campbell-Bannerman to discuss this.

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Chemical Engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT.


T. Hanein, F. P. Glasser, and M. N. Bannerman, “One-dimensional steady-state thermal model for rotary kilns used in the manufacture of cement,” Adv. Appl. Ceram., 116, (4), 207-215 (2017)
T. Hanein, T. Y. Duvallet, R. B. Jewell, A. E. Oberlink, T. L. Robl, Y. Zhou, F. P. Glasser, and M. N. Bannerman, “Alite calcium sulfoaluminate cement: chemistry and thermodynamics,” Adv. Cem. Res., 31, (3), 94–105 (2019)
T. Hanein, J. L. Galvez-Martos, and M. N. Bannerman, “Carbon footprint of calcium sulfoaluminate clinker production,” J. Clean. Prod., 172, 2278–2287 (2018)
T. Hanein, I. Galan Garcia, A. Elhoweris, S. P. Khare, S. Skalamprinos, G. G. Jen, M. J. Whittaker, Imbabi MS.-E, F. P. Glasser, and M. N. Bannerman, “Production of Calcium SulfoAluminate cement using sulfur as a fuel and as a source of clinker sulfur trioxide: Pilot kiln trial,” Adv. Cem. Res., 28, 643-653 (2016)

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