|4th December 2023
|24th January 2024
Prof Rachael Rothman, Dr Fanran Meng, University of Sheffield
Dr Florence Bohnes, Dr Katy Armstrong, Unilever
Are you passionate about shaping a sustainable future and making a real difference in the chemical industry? An exciting PhD opportunity awaits you at the intersection of cutting-edge technology and environmental sustainability assessment.
Accurately predicting the potential environmental impacts of low technology readiness level (TRL) chemical production routes once they are fully deployed is a significant challenge for the chemical industry. The goal of this PhD is to explore how prospective / ex-ante LCA, covering multiple impacts, can be applied in the context of early-stage innovation of sustainable chemicals. This is required to inform innovation decisions contributing to net zero and other environmental sustainability ambitions.
This PhD will focus on developing and applying innovative digital tools and techniques to achieve this goal, despite the limited primary data availability and the lack of maturity of sustainable chemical production routes. The LCA tools developed will include aspects of machine learning and data mining to enable gap-filling algorithms and probabilistic modelling of future scenarios. The focus will be on providing a time-efficient, reliable sustainability assessment of chemical ingredient production for fast-moving consumer goods, with a special emphasis on complex chemicals that could be sourced from biomass and/or captured CO2.
During the PhD, you will work closely with a team of LCA experts at Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre and the University of Sheffield. Together, you will develop a robust assessment framework that can guide vital business decision-making. Your work could have a considerable impact, contributing directly to the mission of achieving net zero and fulfilling ambitious environmental sustainability goals.
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.
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