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EPSRC supported PhD Studentship with Integrated Studies: Understanding Liquid- Liquid Systems for the Production of Fragrances.

University of Birmingham

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £17,800 p.a. plus fees paid
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 28th November 2018
Closes: 31st January 2019

Academic supervisors: Federico Alberini, Andrew Ingram (Chem Eng University of Birmingham)

Industrial supervisors: Estela Espinos Ferri, Carlos Lopez Cruz (IFF)

A tax free bursary of £17,800 p.a. plus fees paid

Liquid-liquid immiscible systems are broadly employed in industrial process. IFF (International Flavours and Fragrances Inc.) is looking for a better understanding of one of their processes, where liquid-liquid mixing and reaction are involved.  In the literature, there is much research work performed in stirred vessels, but there is a lack of knowledge on combining the mixing properties of a mixing vessel and the dynamic of reactions. The proposed PhD with Integrated Studies project is aimed to combine the fluid dynamic properties of the liquid-liquid system together with reaction models to develop better knowledge of IFF industrial process. This will be studied at laboratory, pilot plant and industrial scale. Thus, this provides a unique opportunity to really explore a better way to improve scale up and its impact on reaction performance under a fundamental /basic approach, but also on a practical and applied industrial scale.

Aims and objectives:

  • Measuring droplet size for different organic/ acid ratios using SOPAT (Smart Online Particle Analyser Technology) and off-line measurements such as Mastersizer 2000.
  • Identification when the system behaves as O/W or W/O emulsion is critical to optimise the process. This will be achieved using conductivity measurements (ERT Electrical resistance tomography)
  • Measuring evolving torque during mixing process and relate this measurement to rheological behaviour of the emulsion.
  • Identify mimic fluids for different stage of the mixing process combining torque measurements to rheological measurements (Vane geometry).
  • Measuring flow fields using PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry, in the vessel for the different mimic fluids which represent different time step of the mixing process; this will help to identify dead zones and estimation of local energy dissipation.
  • FTIR spectrometry will be used to track reaction.

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 For more details on the Engineering Doctorate scheme please visit     

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