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PhD Studentship: Control of Membrane Fouling by Vibrations

University of Southampton - Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £18,622 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th November 2023
Closes: 31st December 2023
 

PhD Supervisor: Anatoliy Vorobev

Supervisory Team: Dr Anatoliy Vorobev, Dr Zheng Jiang, Dr Peter Glynne-Jones

Project description

Membrane filtration has emerged as an essential component of industrial processes that involve separation (or purification) of substances. A major barrier for a more widespread adaptation of membrane technology is fouling, reversible or irreversible blocking of membrane pores and membrane surfaces with molecules or particles that are being filtered. Fouling happens naturally, and it is largely unavoidable. Fouling happens differently in different membranes and in different applications (and at different time stages of the filtration process). Frequently, fouling can be partially removed by washing (by reverse flow), which however requires an unwanted discontinuity to filtration. Currently, there is a strong need for a universal method for active control of the fouling dynamics.

Controlled oscillatory forcing (i.e. vibration or acoustic forcing) provide a non-expensive and non-harmful method for investigation and control of fluid flows. Vibrations can excite or damp flows; vibrations may generate Faraday ripples or waves on interfaces, vibrations may alter the body buoyancy conditions, etc. Vibrations of higher intensity can even cause mechanical destruction of deposits of fines, mud or organics.

In this project, we will assess the possibility for using vibrations for an active control of the fluid flow in a filtration cell. We will aim to prevent fouling or to re-suspend fouling particles by generating shearing motion near membrane surface; we will aim to re-shape the fouling layer by vibrations to reduce membrane blocking, and we even will aim to remove fouling particles from inner pores of membranes by releasing droplets/particles entrapped by capillary effects. Ultimately, the results of the project will provide a ‘smart’ self-cleaning membrane technology.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Anatoliy Vorobev, Energy Technology Research Group, Email: A.Vorobev@soton.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 8383.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date:

Applications should be received no later than 31 December 2023 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding:

For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £18,622 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Apply online: Search for a Postgraduate Programme of Study (soton.ac.uk). Select programme type (Research), 2024/25, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Anatoliy Vorobev

Applications should include:

  • Research Proposal
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two reference letters
  • Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk

The School of Engineering is committed to promoting equality, diversity inclusivity as demonstrated by our Athena SWAN award. We welcome all applicants regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age, and will give full consideration to applicants seeking flexible working patterns and those who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy, onsite childcare facilities, and offers a range of benefits to help ensure employees’ well-being and work-life balance. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and has been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.

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