EPSRC supported PhD with Integrated Studies. Grinding of Industrial Minerals

University of Birmingham

Prof Neil Rowson, Dr Andrew Ingram & Dr Federico Alberini (Chem Eng, University of Birmingham)

Dr Richard Tamblyn (Imerys)

Tax free bursary of £17,000 p.a plus fees paid

Imerys Carbonates is involved in the extraction, beneficiation and transformation of calcium carbonate from a large range of sources into a variety of products and formulations to serve a range of industries. Imerys Carbonates and the University of Birmingham have collaborated over a large range of projects, particularly on the subject of understanding the comminution process and its impact on formulations downstream. The comminution (grinding) process is particularly important to the division, and is the major energy consumer and contributor to the Carbon footprint of our products. Recently, Imerys Carbonates have invested in a pilot production plant in Lixhe, Belgium to assist with the improvement of the grinding process both in new product development (or improvement) and in process energy savings.

This project proposes that a student should help to understand better the grinding process for a wide range of Imerys’ raw materials (chalk, limestone and marble from different global quarries) through all of the process scales. This would first involve the use of the facilities at the University of Birmingham:

  • Laboratory scale grinders and minerals processing equipment
  • Positron Emission Particle Tracking
  • Micromanipulation to measure the strength of particles
  • Particle characterisation tools

Additionally, the student would be expected to spend some time in Belgium, working with the local pilot plant manager to run tests and take measurement on our state of the art pilot plant, and its associated laboratory. Therefore some knowledge of the French language would be an asset. Later in the project, it will be possible also to access the full production plant also in Belgium (or if needed in one of the other 45 global sites) for data or possible industrial trials.

To be eligible for EPSRC funding candidates must have at least a 2(1) in an Engineering or Scientific discipline or a 2(2) plus MSc. Please email your c.v. to r.w.greenwood@bham.ac.uk. For more details on the Engineering Doctorate scheme please visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/chemical-engineering/postgraduate/eng-d/index.aspx

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Midlands of England