Postgraduate Research Opportunity: Co-processing Waste Plastics and Biomass coupled with Non-thermal Plasma-catalysis to Directly Produce Premium Grade Liquid Fuels

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

The thermal processing of waste biomass by pyrolysis has great potential to produce a bio-oil that can be processed to produce sustainable transport fuel. However, the bio-oil is chemically complex, with high oxygen content, acidic properties and tendency to polymerise, these properties restrict the end-use applications of the bio-oil. The direct substitution of the biomass derived pyrolytic oils for conventional petroleum fuels is therefore limited and a barrier to the deployment of these next generation biofuels.

This project brings together biomass and plastics co-processing, catalysis and plasma technology to develop a novel process that will process biomass wastes and problematic plastic waste to directly produce an upgraded bio-oil product suitable for direct utilisation in petroleum based refineries. The process involves the co-pyrolysis of waste biomass and plastics to produce a suite of gases & vapours which are then passed directly for low-temperature plasma-catalysis upgrading to produce a low oxygen premium grade bio-oil. The project involves experimental work on a novel two-stage laboratory scale reactor and analysis of product oils and gases and used catalysts using a range of analytical techniques.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Co-processing waste plastics and biomass coupled with non-thermal plasma-catalysis to directly produce premium grade liquid fuels’ as well as Professor Paul T. Williams as your proposed supervisor. In the funding section, please state "EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership" as your sponsor.

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:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000

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Northern England