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PhD in Evaluating Efficacy of Novel Green Fertilisers Using Carbon Capture Technology to Improve Soil Health

Cranfield University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Cranfield
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th October 2021
Closes: 15th November 2021
Reference: SWEE0162

Start date: 03 Jan 2022

Fee status of eligible applicants: UK only 

Duration of Award:  3 years 

1st Supervisor: Dr Ruben Sakrabani 

Sponsored by Cranfield University and CCm Technologies (under the Cranfield Industrial Partnership Programme)            

This is an excellent opportunity for a full time PhD project which will last for 36 months. The project offers a unique opportunity for a student to work closely with Cranfield University and CCm Technologies in a project that involves using carbon capture technology to produce novel fertilsers and assess its efficacy to meet crop demand, sequester soil carbon and improve soil health. The student will receive a stipend of £15.6k, tax free and full UK fees covered by this fundiing. In addition to this there is also funding to cover laboratory analysis, field work and participation in workshops and conferences.    

Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases, in addition to nitrous oxide and methane, which is contributing towards climate change. One way to mitigate the high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to capture it into the terrestrial environment. This is the technology (known as carbon capture and utilisation) which will be deployed in this project, provided by a company known as CCm Technologies. In this project the carbon dioxide from point sources will be captured into organic waste material and convert it into fertilisers suitable for soil applications. This novel approach resulting in fertilisers will be evaluated in field trials to investigate benefits of the zero carbon fertilisers in soil and crop yield.   

The project aim is to evaluate as part of the field trial study, how these novel fertilisers can meet crop nutrient demand and improve crop yields compared to conventional practices using mineral fertilisers. This study will also focus on the impact of using these novel fertilisers and greenhouse gas emissions and diffuse pollution.

There will be an opportunity to present your work in national and internatiomal conferences and submit to a suitable journal for peer-reviewed publication. This work is very timely with current policies such as the Net Zero Carbon target and Agricultural Bill. You will also gain trainings in current analytical facilities in soil science and be part of a vibrant research group in the UK. You will also have excellent opportunities to engage with industry to have the practical experience to complement the research component of this project.     

You will gain experience of engaging with an industrial sponsor and work in a field scale experimental trial. In addition to this there will be an opportunity of using specialist equipments to measure greenhouse gas and diffuse pollution measurements.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a First or Second Class Upper UK Honours Degree or equivalent in subjects such as Soil Science, Environmental Science, Agronomy or Geography. Applicants with experience in carrying out field scale agronomic trials and familiar with analytical equipments used in soil science will be an added advantage. It will be desirable for candidates to have an MSc in the above subjects. 

How to apply 

If you are eligible to apply for this studentship, please complete the online application form.

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