PhD NERC studentship: Mitigation of pollutant emissions from the steel industry



Academic Supervisors: Professor Tom Stephenson and Dr Ana Soares

Application Deadline: 30 July 2013

Supported by NERC and Tata Steel, a studentship of up to £15,000 p.a. for three years plus fees* is available

The steel industry has a long manufacturing tradition in the UK: it produced 10.1 million tonnes of steel in 2009 and employs 20300 people. Like any other intensive manufacturing industry, the potential to cause negative impacts on the environment through pollution is of great concern. Tata Steel, the second largest steelmaking company in Europe, has adopted a pro-active approach for solving key environmental issues associated with steelmaking. An important challenge for Tata Steel in the future is to improve the treatment of coke oven effluents using biological processes such as activated sludge. The aim of this PhD project will be to investigate potential technologies to reduce further the pollutant emissions of coke oven effluents such as aromatic compounds and ammonia. Work will focus on bioaugmentation techniques in conjunction with nitrification / denitrification for improved pollution removal while controlling the potential emission of greenhouse gases such as (N2O).

Cranfield University are working with Tata Steel in the UK to find a suitable, motivated graduate to carry out the 3-year PhD research programme. The work will involve a hands-on approach to operate pilot-plants and laboratory tests. The data analysis will allow the minimisation of aromatic compounds, ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions to ensure full effluent compliance. It will culminate with the proposal of a set of recommendations for implementation of cost-effective abatement solutions at Tata Steel full-scale biological treatment plants. The student will be based mostly at the main Research and Development Centre of Tata Steel in the UK situated in Rotherham (Swinden Technology Centre). The pilot plant studies will be carried out at Scunthorpe Steelworks.

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Start date: 1 October 2013

Entry requirements Applicants should have a First or Second Class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Environmental Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering discipline. The ideal candidate should have a strong background on chemistry and/or biological sciences and some knowledge on wastewater treatment processes, experience on laboratory analysis and/or wastewater pilot-plant operation, be self-starting, a good communicator, have problem solving skills and be organised and enthusiastic. The student will require a full driving license since regular travel to Scunthorpe Steelworks will be necessary.

Funding *Supported by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Tata Steel, this studentship will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate only. Due to funding restrictions non UK/EU students will have to pay the remainder of their tuition fees before commencing their studies. Applicants are also eligible for a bursary of up to £15,000 p.a. for 3 years dependent upon qualifications and experience.

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