Waste and biomass valorisation PhD projects

Fully funded PhD projects for UK/settled students in waste and biomass valorisation, from laboratory-based work to systems modelling.

Start date

1 October 2022


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

EPSRC Doctoral Training Program and University of Surrey

Funding information

  • UKRI stipend (e.g. £16,062 for 2022/23)
  • Home fees covered (UK candidates only)
  • £3,000 Research Training Support Grant
  • £3,000 Bench fees


The conversion of biomass to fuels and value-added chemicals is key to support net-zero aspirations both globally and within the UK. Ideally biomass sources should be non-food biomass such as lignocellulosic biomass, and/or supply chain surplus or wastes. However, the biorefinery concept is challenged with valorisation of complex waste streams encompassing all biomass components; the requirement for new, biobased supply chains; discovery of new technologies and processes that are also sustainable with respect to social, economic and environmental factors; heterogeneity of biomass feedstocks; integration of biorefinery systems within established systems; and complex modelling requirements. Within the Chemical and Process Engineering Department at Surrey we have projects available to tackle these challenges.

  1. The lignin component of lignocelluose needs to be used (alongside the sugars) within the biorefinery to improve economic potential of biorefinery processes. This project will research novel lignin conversion techniques using ultrasound and heterogeneous catalysis.
  2. Surplus and waste from the human food supply chain have potential to be used for hair cosmetics with fewer legislative challenges. This project will research extracts from food waste/surplus for hair dyes.
  3. The impact of heterogeneity of waste and biomass feedstocks on technologies and supply chains will be researched.

Eligibility criteria

Home student (UK, EU pre-settled or settled status, indefinite leave to remain) with a 2:1 or better.

English language requirements

6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category (if not graduated from UK institution).

How to apply

If you are interested in a particular area please send your CV and email directly to Madeleine Bussemaker (m.bussemaker@surrey.ac.uk) and apply via the Chemical and Process Engineering PhD programme page.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Madeleine Bussemaker
22 BC 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686598
E-mail: m.bussemaker@surrey.ac.uk

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