PhD Studentship: Experimental Study of Biomass Fractionation into High-Value Fuels and Chemicals

Aston University - School of Engineering and Applied Science

(3 years)

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on thermal and catalytic biomass conversion processes for bio-fuels and bio-chemicals.

Background of the project:

Considering the shortage of fossil fuels and the increasing demand for fuels and chemicals, it has been necessary to explore alternative sources in order to cope with the fossil fuel deficit. Biomass is a widely available renewable feedstock, which can be processed to obtain bio-fuels or bio-chemicals.

This studentship will explore different physical and chemical processing stages for biomass, in order to obtain high-value fuels and chemicals. These process stages include biomass pre-treatment, thermal treatment via fast-pyrolysis, and acid hydrolysis. The combination of these processes is a common practice in biorefineries, where biomass is fractionated to make high-value products for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, transportation, energy sector, construction, etc. Diverse experimental and analytic techniques will be used in combination in order to characterise and optimise both biomass feedstock and products.

This studentship is offered in association with the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), which is a collaboration designed to provide scholars with a broader grounding in their research area during their PhD. Some additional components of research training and specially tailored events will be provided by ERA.

For further details on the project and an informal enquiry please contact Dr Paula Blanco by email:

To submit an application and for details of the entry requirement and funding please visit the Aston University website here.

We would particularly like to encourage application from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recently recognised by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive environment and family atmosphere.

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Midlands of England