Sustainable fuels and chemicals from sustainable biomass and bioprocessing


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  Dr Ernesto Hernandez  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Canterbury Christ Church University School of Engineering, Technology and Design welcomes applications to its PhD course from self-funded applicants to study a range of PhD projects. 

Project Description

The UN Sustainable Development Goals, COP26 and more forums worldwide urge for positive action on climate change. Innovative sustainable solutions can help to build a better climate to develop sustainable societies. Nonfood biomass instead of petroleum, coal or controversial food feedstocks can produce cheaper, safer, faster and environmentally friendlier products and services. For instance, advanced biofuels, bioplastics, biooil, sugars, biofertilizers, proteins and foods to cite a few.

Advantageously, this project would use a promising nonfood biomass feedstock adapted through millions of years for growing in extreme conditions close to megacities worldwide. Arid biomass requires far less common inputs like water, energy, machinery, pest control, downstream and upstream processing than microalgae and traditional crops. The challenge is to create sustainable processes for transforming arid biomass into sustainable products and services responsibly.

The PhD project aims at studying biotechnological and chemical engineering strategies to create novel sustainable processes transforming arid biomass into wealth while helping people and the environment in a more responsible way. Products and services could be used in energy, feed and food production, agriculture and farming.

An understanding of bioprocessing, bio/chemical process engineering, biomass valorisation are foundations for creating viable strategies. Strong laboratory skills in the aforementioned subjects are essential. Basic design and expression of recombinant enzymes and/or molecular cloning skills are desirable, not essential, but to be learned and applied along with the project.

Applicants must have achieved or be expected to achieve a 1st class or 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline in Chemical/Biochemical/Environmental Engineering, Biotechnology or equivalent or have relevant industrial experience...

Interested? For further information about this project please contact: Dr Ernesto Hernandez at [Email Address Removed]

The research of this project will be undertaken within School of Engineering, Technology, and Design (ETD) at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). Canterbury Christ Church University is located in the world famous Cathedral city amongst stunning history and heritage. Canterbury is a thriving international destination, with many students and staff choosing to study and work here, making this historic, cosmopolitan city vibrant and culturally diverse. We are strongly committed to equality and recognise the value of diverse students and staff.

Postgraduate research students are part of the Canterbury Christ Church University Graduate College which is home to almost 800 research students.The Graduate College provides a wide range of researcher development training as well as academic and social activities for postgraduate students.

How to apply

Please submit your application using the online admissions portal and click on the research cluster ‘Science, Information Technology and Engineering’:

 As part of your application you will be required to submit a research proposal. Please tick the appropriate box on the proposal form to indicate that you are applying for a PhD self study project alongside a place on the PhD programme. Please specify which project you are interested in and develop your research proposal around the description of the project and research questions set out above.

For any queries about the application and admissions process please contact Postgraduate Admissions ([Email Address Removed]).

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