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Engineering Doctorate (EngD): Optimising Biomass Milling, Classification and Conveying for Enhanced Power Generation

University of Nottingham - Advanced Materials Research Group, Faculty of Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Nottingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th December 2021
Closes: 7th March 2022
Reference: ENG1523

Supervisors Dr. Orla Williams – Orla.williams@nottingham.ac.uk and Prof. Ed Lester – Edward.lester@nottingham.ac.uk

This project will explore the fundamental link between biomass milling, classification and conveying to optimise biomass processing. The project will explore the fundamental science of milling fracture mechanics to develop a test for the critical particle size for comminution through compression for biomass particles. This test will be bench marked against the industry standard bond work index milling test and milling in a lab scale vertical spindle mill. The fundamental science behind classification will be investigated to ascertain the impact of biomass particle size and shape on classification and linked back to milling fracture mechanics. A model will be developed which can predict if classification will be successful based on the milled product from the grinding bed. An existing rig which examines biomass conveying in pipes will be further developed to analyse a wide range of biomass particle flow conditions. A novel biomass particle roping rig will be built to investigate roping and its link to biomass particle size and shape. Roping mitigation strategies will be developed, which will then be verified on a laboratory vertical spindle mill with pneumatic classification.

This would be a four-year project based in the new Resilient Decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems CDT based at The University of Nottingham and working alongside Net Zero Research partners. Applicants are expected to have obtained (or be heading for) a First or Upper-second degree at Master’s level (or equivalent) in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering and be highly motivated. The project will be a mixture of lab based and modelling experiments. They should have broad interests in renewable and low carbon technologies, and in the application of these technologies. Furthermore, the applicant should have a desire to gain industrial experience during the EngD.

Applicants should also be able to demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills, which will be essential for collaborations, disseminating the results via journal publications and attendance at international conferences. 

The project will be part of the EPSRC-supported Centre for Doctoral Training in Resilient Decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems. The student who undertakes it will be one of a cohort of over 50 students in a broad range of disciplines across the Universities of Sheffield, Nottingham and Cardiff The project is funded by Net Zero Research, with industrial supervision from a Net Zero Research member. net-zero-research.co.uk.

The EngD is funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Resilient Decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems with top up funding from Net Zero Research

Please contact orla.williams@nottingam.ac.uk with any enquiries

Please apply here www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/apply-online.aspx

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section of the application. This will help in ensuring your application is sent directly to the academic advertising the studentship. 

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