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Thermal Energy Storage for Sustainable Agri-Food Systems

   Department of Chemical and Process Engineering

About the Project

Post-harvest food loss diminishes agricultural productivity, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and is a major threat to national food security. Globally, 1.3 billion tonnes of food produced for human consumption, is wasted. Yet, 870 million people across the world do not have enough to eat. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the situation is much worse: post-harvest food losses on grains alone in Africa are estimated to be worth US$ 4 billion (exceeding the total value of food aid in the region for a decade). The main reason is the lack of cooling and storage facilities on the backbone of inadequate energy infrastructure. In this context, thermal energy storage (TES) technologies hold great promise for the decarbonisation of global food industries.

The project will involve conceptual design and modelling of various TES technologies, techno-economic analysis, and resource assessment. The PhD candidate will explore TES technologies and alternative approaches and based on life cycle cost analysis, parametric relationships will be developed and the economic feasibility of proposed technologies will be evaluated for costs and benefits. Finally, the student will work with local industries and actors across the value chain to develop a viable business model. This approach is with careful consideration of the potential positive impact on climate change mitigation.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Information about the host department can be found by visiting:

Funding Notes

Excellent candidates may be considered for a University scholarship. This PhD project is also offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources.

Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant engineering or science discipline and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research. Knowledge and research experiences in the following areas are preferred: energy
engineering, thermal engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering.

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