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- https://www.gcu.ac.uk/assetmanagement/beamresearch/.
Candidates should have
- A minimum 2.1 in a Chemistry degree or similar.
-Bench Fees in the order of £3000/annum.
Expected start date of the PhD project: __ 1 October __2021__
To apply, please the relevant link below:
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