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EngD in Optimisation of Battery Recycling Processes

University of Warwick - WMG Energy Innovation Centre and Recyclus

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Coventry
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £17,668 stipend plus annual top up of £3,000
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th November 2022
Closes: 6th February 2023

Project Overview

Do you have an interest in sustainability? Do you want to be involved in one of the most exciting research areas? Are you ready to join a world leading organisation in battery technology research? We are looking for an outstanding candidate with an interest in battery technology, who wants to apply their skills and help to develop the UK’s battery recycling capabilities.

The world is on the cusp of an electric revolution. For almost a century, internal combustion vehicles have dominated all form of transport (road, air, sea). But, climate change and resource scarcity are driving a change in the way we move about. Electric vehicles are now replacing ICE vehicles at stunning speeds. In 2021, 45% of all passenger vehicles sold in the UK contained a traction battery with weights ranging from 10 kg to more than 600 kg. All these batteries will eventually require recycling. By 2040, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of batteries will be reaching end-of-life each year. The batteries contain valuable and strategic elements that are vital to the future of our automotive industry.

WMG and Recyclus have created an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) focused on the development of battery recycling technologies. The EngD encompasses a four-year programme supporting talented individuals at varying career stages to develop new critical skill sets in this sector and will also focus on addressing contemporary industrial and technical challenges across the battery recycling sector.

Working in WMG Energy Innovation Centre and Recyclus, you will investigate the following activities (but not limited):

  • Undertake market research to assess the availability of materials from lithium ion batteries and potential markets for products.
  • Work at Recyclus sites to find optimal operational parameters for recycling machinery (e.g. materials characterisation, screening efficiency for scalability).
  • Apply advanced technologies for powders separation (e.g. eddy current separators, magnetic separators for industrialisation targets).
  • Investigate post treatment processes (e.g. electrolyte recovery, vacuum drying and analysis)
  • Technology synergies between lead-acid and lithium-ion battery recycling.

Person skills requirement:

  • An awareness of the recycling industry and the types of machinery commonly used in the industry.
  • Experience in materials characterisation techniques, for example SEM, XRD, ICP etc
  • Knowledge of Batteries and how they work.
  • Awareness of the health and safety implications associated with battery recycling.
  • Comfortable with using CAD or related computer software.

The post will equip you well for leading roles in the industry and academia. You will become highly trained and gain new knowledge in industrial datasets for R&D, plus the industrialisation aspects of recycling technology innovation.

Key Information:

Funding Source: Warwick Industrial Fellowship

Supporting company: Recyclus Group Ltd

Supervisor: Dr John Low

Desired Student: A degree (2:1 or above) in chemical engineering, material science/engineering or related field.

Available to UK nationals and Home fees students

Start date: February 2023

To apply

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