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Recovery of metals from historic landfill sites

Project Description

This project aligns with Cranfield University’s programme of research on contaminated land remediation and management, enhanced landfill mining and resource recovery. Significant numbers of closed landfills exist in the UK and across Europe, this project will be focusing specifically on Post Metallurgical Sites and Deposits (PMSD) as part of the EU-funded REGENERATIS project; The overall project aims to develop an evidence-based solution to recovering value from such sites.
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The project is funded through a European Regional Development Fund [ERDF] Interreg project, REGENERATIS- Regeneration of past metallurgical sites and deposits through innovative circularity for raw materials. This work is closely-aligned to Cranfield’s ongoing research on contaminated land remediation and enhanced landfill mining and resource recovery; the project would suit graduates with a strong background in chemistry and environmental sciences.

The overall project aims to develop an evidence-based solution to recovering value from such sites.

This PhD position will manage pilot testing on mobilisation of metals bound to soils and fines. Recent work has highlighted the mobility of metals within historic landfill sites, thus the successful PhD researcher will lead innovative tests to recover such metals using applied organometallic chemistry.

Cranfield University is number one in the UK for training and producing engineering and technology postgraduates. It is one of the top five research-intensive universities in the UK and has an unrivalled reputation for transforming cutting edge technology, management and science into practical, life-enhancing solutions. This research project will be conducted within the Water Science Institute, School of Water, Energy and Environment and will be funded under a new European Regional Development Fund [ERDF] Interreg project entitled REGENERATIS (Regeneration of past metallurgical sites and deposits through innovative circularity for raw materials). For further details please see- REGENERATIS research project and Interreg REGENERATIS.

This PhD will specifically develop scientific understanding on the pathways for metal recovery. The overall REGENERATIS project will have impacts on innovative characterization by geophysics, innovative recovery processes guidance, artificial intelligence algorithm. A previous EU-funded project SMART GROUND developed a databank and decision support tool [DST], the PhD researcher will assist academic staff in the harmonisation of the SMART GROUND databank and DST into this project, leading to a comprehensive and user-friendly inventory. The DST will enable users to identify technologies and approaches best suited for recovering metals from specific sites.

The funding supports travel throughout the project to 3x test sites for sampling, along with opportunities to attend and present results at international conferences. Cranfield University are leading a UK Enhanced Landfill Mining network, involving academic, industrial and public sector organisations. It is expected that the PhD researcher will become involved in this network, enabling the researcher to develop their profile in the sector and engage with experts in related areas.

This PhD opportunity provides the researcher with exposure to working in a large multi-national and multi-disciplinary project as part of a wider team. The area of research is a rapidly growing area of national importance, therefore it is anticipated that this PhD would allow the successful candidate to pursue an exciting career upon completion.

Start date:
01 June 2020

Entry requirements
Applicants should have a first- or second-class UK honours degree or equivalent in chemistry, environmental sciences or a related discipline. This project would suit those with a keen interest in the waste and resource management sector with prior experience of working in a laboratory.

Sponsored by European Regional Development Fund [EDRF] through the REGENERATIS Interreg project this PhD opportunity is funded at UK/EU rates including fees and a tax-free annual stipend of £15,009*

Funding Notes

The funding is only available to applicants from the UK/EU; Tuition fees are fully funded, and the student will receive a tax-free bursary of £15,009

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