Meet over 65 universities on 27 & 28 April GET YOUR FREE TICKET >
Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Robust method for quantitation of micro-pollutants in complex matrices and evaluation of pollution treatment processes.

School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

Glasgow United Kingdom Civil Engineering

About the Project

Reference number: SCEBE/21SF/010/JR

Aim & Scope

Micro-pollutants in the environment can be from commercial or domestic sources and constitute a varied range of chemicals from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to excreted pharmaceuticals. Examples of POPs to be included are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and per and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). Most of these are on the Stockholm Convention List for limited use. As well as the POPs there is current concern about excreted pharmaceuticals particularly anti microbials and their potential contribution to anti-microbial resistance. Many of these pollutants are ubiquitous in the environment but, this project will concentrate on those in sewage, landfill leachate and soil.

Before analysis can occur, the pollutants need to be extracted from the matrix either to remove unwanted interfering contaminants or to concentrate the analyte in the samples to facilitate analysis. The efficiency of the extraction is dependent on the chemistry of the analyte to be extracted, the matrix it will be extracted from, the type of analysis and the extraction procedure. This is an important step of the analytical procedure and requires careful development. Clearly if the analyte is not properly extracted then the quantitation will be wrong.

At GCU and JHI treatment methods are being developed to remove micro-pollutants from waste streams. In order to evaluate these remediation methods the pollutants need to be monitored before and after treatment. Examples of the remediation treatments are microalgae and biochar.

The PhD applicant will develop methods to efficiently extract a diverse range of pollutants with one or more methods from matrices described above including micro algae and biochar. They will also be required to analyse the samples and quantify the analytes before and after remediation treatment to evaluate the remediation methods. The pollutants will be analysed by GCMS and LCMS for quantitation.1

Candidates are requested to submit a more detailed proposal (of a maximum of 2000 words) on the project area as part of the application.

The PhD is associated with the BEAM Research

Centre at GCU and the James Hutton Institute-

Candidates should have 

- A minimum 2.1 in a Chemistry degree or similar.

 Will pay

-Bench Fees in the order of £3000/annum.

Expected start date of the PhD project:  __ 1 October  __2021__

How to apply

To apply, please the relevant link below:

· Full-time student:

· Part-time student:

Funding Notes

Applicants are expected to find external funding sources to cover the tuition fees and living expenses. Alumni and International students new to GCU who are self-funding are eligible for fee discounts.
See more on fees and funding. View Website
-Bench Fees in the order of £3000/annum.


For further information, please contact:
Director of Studies
Name: Joanne Roberts
GCU Research Online URL: (essential)
2nd Supervisor Name: Zulin Zhang
GCU Research Online URL: (essential)
3rd Supervisor Name: Ania Escudero
GCU Research Online URL: (essential)

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here

The information you submit to Glasgow Caledonian University will only be used by them or their data partners to deal with your enquiry, according to their privacy notice. For more information on how we use and store your data, please read our privacy statement.

* required field

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2021
All rights reserved.