Postgraduate Research Opportunity: Can we Predict the Performance of a Pulsed Column?

University of Leeds

Value: Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance matching the Research Council UK rate (£14,553 for 2017/18). UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

Project description

Research is underway in SCAPE, to develop a better understanding of conventional solvent extraction technology for nuclear fuel recycling. Specifically, CFD modelling is being carried out to predict the performance of a Pulsed Sieve-Plate Extraction Column (PSEC), one of the most commonly used liquid-liquid extraction technologies. This project aims to develop methods of direct measurement of droplet formation of an organic phase within a PSEC in order to generate data which will be used to verify a model. Using a small scale PSEC (4 plates and 60mm internal diameter) and techniques such as laser optometry with high speed video to record the droplet size; determination of a population balance of droplets will be investigated.

This will be linked to an instant mass transfer rate, by studying the operating conditions during extraction of metals such as Cu and Uranium. Whilst existing CFD modelling work is investigating the internal hydrodynamics of a PSEC; to predict the overall performance a CFD-based design optimisation methodology is required. So a second part of this project is to use the experimental data to a produce a functioning dynamic model, which will not just model the change in flow due to pulsation, but also calculate mass transfer. This model will be based on design equations that are available in the literature, data from the existing CFD models and experimental data from the research above to identify optimal operating and design parameters for PSEC systems.

How to apply

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office

e: phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000

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Advert information

Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Northern England