PhD in Engineering: Development of combined lixiviant and passive metal capture systems for industrial waste valorisation

Key facts

Application deadline 31 August 2018
Start date 1 October 2018
Duration 3.5 years
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships One

This is a 3.5 Year PhD project sponsored by the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering and VITO, Belgium.  

Low metal grades and the enormous volumes of mineral waste materials do not allow for traditional metallurgical processes to process the material and recover metals. Low-cost and low-intensity technologies that can process large volumes of material are urgently needed for wastes.

Whilst in situ metal leaching approaches such as heap leaching have been developed and utilised for metal recovery from primary low-grade Cu, Au and U ores the application of heap leaching technology to much more complex mineral waste materials is new and constitutes a promising research gap to be explored.

The development of the heap leach technology for waste is a question of research and development of appropriate (environmentally benign and effective) lixiviants which can be used in conjunction with low-intensity metal capture systems.

In 2016, VITO was one of the first research institutes to report experimental research regarding heap leaching of mineral waste using lab scale column leaching tests that provide information on the leachability of metals from the material and permeability of leaching liquors through the material. As yet corresponding low-intensity metal capture systems have not been developed.

Thus this PhD seeks to:

  • further develop appropriate lixiviants for application to waste
  • develop low-intensity metal capture systems that work with the lixiviant/waste chemistry.

This is a truly ground-breaking area of research and will lead to important technical and scientific development and you will have the opportunity to work at the state-of-the-art laboratories of both institutes.

The proposed PhD is hosted both by VITO (Belgium), in particular the Waste Recycling Technologies team, and the School of Engineering at Cardiff University.

Supervisors

Contact

Devin Sapsford

Dr Devin Sapsford

Reader - Teaching and Research

Email:
sapsforddj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5916

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

You should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 (or their equivalent) and, preferably, a master's in environmental engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, mineral processing or geochemistry.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent).

Overseas candidates may apply but must confirm that they are able pay the difference between home and overseas fees (approx. £14K pa) themselves.

Contact

Devin Sapsford

Dr Devin Sapsford

Reader - Teaching and Research

Email:
sapsforddj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5916

Applicants should apply for a Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of October 2018.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship/grant' and specify that you are applying for advertised funding, reference DS-VITO-2018.

Please also include in your application:

  • an upload of your CV
  • a personal statement/covering letter
  • two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)
  • current academic transcripts.

Please contact Dr Devin Sapsford to informally discuss this opportunity.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Contact

Devin Sapsford

Dr Devin Sapsford

Reader - Teaching and Research

Email:
sapsforddj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5916
Tuition fee discount of £3,400 for eligible Welsh and EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Eligible research programmes