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Understanding the benefits of enzymes and micronutrients in anaerobic digestion - Masters by Research

Project Description

The exciting project aims to understand the benefits and potential impacts that dosing of enzymes or supporting enzymatic action with nutrients additions can have on long-term operation of AD.
This studentship offers an opportunity to be part of the team assessing the technology and resolving some of the key unknowns in this field.

Renewable biogas can be produced from waste material through an anaerobic process called anaerobic digestion (AD). The first step in AD is the hydrolysis of the organic components into smaller molecules easier for the microorganisms to uptake and digest.

Hydrolysis is often identified as the rate-limiting step in the process, especially when digesting substrates particularly difficult to breakdown. The use of hydrolytic enzymes (HEs) in the waste and wastewater sectors is still limited, mainly due to their perceived high costs.

This translates in very little published evidence on their action mechanisms and a lack of fundamental understanding on their impact on the processes they are used for. Understanding and improving the action of these HEs would help to improve this step’s reaction rate and hence increase biogas production and renewable energy.

The work will be based at Cranfield with regular trips to the full-scale site for sampling. The lab-work will include a scientific investigation into the impact of enzymes and micronutrients additions on AD. The finding of this will be directly translated to the full-scale plant.

As such the successful candidate will have the chance to conduct cutting edge applied research linked to full scale operation and implementation within a water company. This will provide a fantastic experience of both research and practical operation of real treatment systems and the experience of working within both academia and industry.

The student will be based at Cranfield University, with frequent trips to Anglian Water’s Cambridge wastewater treatment plant. On site, the student will be embedded within Anglian Innovation team, and he/she will have the opportunity to learn about industrial challenges.

Entry Requirements
Applicants should have:
• A first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related subject such as engineering, biology, environmental science or chemistry.
• Appropriate knowledge of written and oral English.
• An understanding of wastewater treatment technologies and processes is desirable.

How to apply:
For further information please contact: Dr. Yadira Bajón Fernández, E:
If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form stating the reference number SWEE0073.

• Start date: June 3rd 2019
• Interview date: w/c 13th May 2019
• Duration of award: 12 months
• Eligibility: UK/EU

For further information contact us today:
T: +44 (0)1234 758082

Funding Notes

Supported by Anglian Water this studentship will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate only and provide a bursary of up to £17,000* p.a. for one year.

*To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be a UK national.

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