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Upgraded value of coke oven by-products – deriving higher value chemicals from Coke Oven by-products and wastes.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 20, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description


*This is a KESS 2 East scholarship opportunity. Please note the eligibility information in the advert text or contact the team for further information.*

An exciting opportunity has arisen to contribute on a project that could have significant impact and industrial application. This is a KESS funded PhD project which takes new approaches to the conversion of coke-oven by-products and convert them into higher value commodity chemicals. The approach taken will consist of the development of straightforward methodologies to synthesise these higher value chemicals.

The selected candidate will apply their chemical knowledge and synthetic skills to the role and will demonstrate ambition to develop new extraction methodologies and synthetic routes to coke-oven derived commodity chemicals. The project will entail gaining significant knowledge of the processes occurring within the coke-oven and the composition of its by-products. It will also involve synthetic and analytical work in the laboratory in addition to characterisation of various compounds. The application of the newly developed methodologies will subsequently be explored in collaboration with the industrial partner. This close collaborative partnership will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of industrially relevant chemical synthesis. It will also enhance the potential for future employment of the candidate in this or related industries.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government. The PhD project is co-sponsored by one of the world’s most innovative steel making companies, Tata Steel Strip Products, UK. The successful candidate will work closely within a chemistry research group at University of South Wales and with advisors from Tata Steel’s Port Talbot works. The project will focus on analysis and synthetic work. The Steel industry is constantly aiming to reduce its waste emissions by maximising the use of any material/compounds that are present within the coke-oven outputs. The project will also focus on providing new strategies for the valorisation of any chemicals from this waste product, initially on a small scale. It will also look at the possibilities of scaling the process to an industrial scale.

The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time PhD programme and pay a stipend of circa £14k p.a. There is also around £9k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance.

The position is available from 1st April 2019.

Eligibility of Student:
To be eligible to hold a KESS studentship, you must:
• have a home address in East Wales area (details below)* at the time of registration.
• have the right to take up paid work in the East Wales area* on completion of the scholarship.
• be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
• satisfy University of South Wales’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process

* East Wales area covers: Vale of Glamorgan / Cardiff / Newport / Monmouthshire / Powys / Wrexham / Flintshire

Qualifications and experience:
Eligible applicants will:

• Have a degree (2i or higher) in Chemistry
• Possess a reasonable understanding of synthetic chemistry, catalysis and characterisation
• Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop new synthetic and analytical skills
• Have well-developed and positively collaborative interpersonal skills
• Have the ability to deliver technical reports and communicate findings
• Be willing to travel and work in industrial settings

Application Process:

To download an application package, please visit: http://gro.southwales.ac.uk/studentships/KESSII/participant/

For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales: Tel: 01443 482578

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Dr Gareth Owen ().

Further information at:

1. https://research.southwales.ac.uk/our-research/research-institutes/energy-environment/institute-members/

2. http://staff.southwales.ac.uk/users/7148-growen1

3. https://pure.southwales.ac.uk/en/persons/gareth-owen(ec2f1c34-1ead-46c7-bbff-0d3c790fa2ab).html

Funding Notes

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) programme for East Wales.

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