Surface Modifications to Resist Scaling by Calcium Salts
This PhD is part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Materials for Demanding Environments [M4DE CDT]; it is sponsored by BP International Ltd., and will commence September 2018.
Inorganic chemical scales form rapidly in certain chemical processes, reducing process performance. One example is in bioethanol sugar juice evaporators, which require frequent manual cleaning in confined spaces. This project aims to develop modifications to steel surfaces which resist the formation of these scales, thereby reducing safety risks and improving process efficiency.
We envisage that a range of different surface treatments will be investigated. One promising line will consider a number of different coating options that have been used in biomedical applications to preserve the chemical composition of metal implants and prosthetic heart valves, in order to prevent accretion of foreign materials on them.
A key feature of the experimental work will be to ensure that evaporation takes place on the modified surface, which will involve designing and building a piece of experimental equipment that allows heat to be directed through the test sample so that this evaporation takes place at the right location. We envisage that work under this programme will be conducted with synthetic solutions – initially with individual problematic calcium salts, but subsequently with mixtures possibly including sugars to simulate the actual process behaviour.
About BP International Ltd
BP is one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies. They provide customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines moving, and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items as diverse as paints, clothes and packaging. BP is committed to make a real contribution to the world’s ambition of a low carbon future and has one of the largest portfolios of non-carbon energy, including a substantial sugar cane to bioethanol business in Brazil.
This PhD studentship will be part of the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM) community. BP-ICAM brings the full spectrum of academic knowledge under one umbrella, providing the opportunity for collaboration across disciplines. The problems are complex and require an interdisciplinary approach. The practical involvement of BP helps to ensure that ICAM’s innovative research will deliver real-life applications and solutions.
Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of £17,000 tax free.
Students with a first class/2.1 degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Materials Science, Metallurgy, Physics, Chemistry or another aligned science or engineering subject are encouraged to apply. Applications will be reviewed as they are received until a candidate is selected; therefore candidates are encouraged to apply early.
Funding is only available for UK / EU candidates.