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  Renewable energy generation from waste: adoption pathways, drivers, and obstacles for the uptake of biogas production technology in communities


   School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  Dr Tanja Radu, Dr Marianna Coulentianos  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) has a great potential to help society transition to renewable energy, especially when deployed at small- and medium-scale where the initial prohibitive investment can be lessened. AD is a process of decomposing biomass material in the absence of oxygen, to produce biogas (renewable energy) and is an effective way to process various types of organic waste. The AD process also creates a digestate slurry that allow for nutrient recovery and can be used as fertilized to improve soil quality.

Despite large numbers of existing biodigesters across the Globe, few of them remain in operation several years after installation. Some documented reasons for the abandonment of biodigesters at the small- and medium-scale include poor monitoring of the biodigester; maintenance cost; insufficient knowledge leading to poor management of the biodigester; prejudice around usage of the outputs of biodigestion; and conflicts around ownership of inputs and outputs of biodigestion.

The goal of this project is to generate insights about the adoption of AD technology and interplay of various stakeholders involved in the adoption of AD technology. This project will investigate the stakeholder experience of installing, operating, maintaining, and using the outputs of small- and medium-scale biodigesters. Being at the intersection of design and engineering disciplines, the project could include the prototyping of a small-scale biogas installation to be studied both through a technical lens (e.g., designed for the local climate and input waste materials) and through a service design lens (e.g., journey mapping of ownership and operations of the biogas)

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the drop-down below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Students should have, or expect to achieve, a minimum of a 2:1 (or equivalent) degree classification in a relevant area. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in Design, Energy, Engineering, Social Sciences or Sustainability related research will be an advantage.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

How to apply

Applications should be made online and must include an outline research proposal. Under the programme name, please select 'Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering'. Please quote reference ABCE23/TR1.


Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

UK fee: £4,596 full-time degree per annum
International fee: £25,100 full-time degree per annum

Where will I study?