This project seeks to develop a process model for the reuse of wastewater streams for hydrogen production and direct integration into industrial feedstocks, and to use techno-economic analysis to evaluate the feasibility of doing so, using real facility data as case studies.
Currently, nearly all hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels. Industries which use hydrogen as a feedstock could reduce their carbon footprint by using renewable energy to electrolyse water.
This work will identify where this type of process integration would be feasible, considering cost, hydrogen need, and wastewater makeup. It will identify industries which might benefit from this type of process intensification, and then will extend to gather specific data about the wastewater constituency from various factories or industries. It will develop case studies identifying the specific makeup of the wastewater, what the current disposal method is, what the current source of hydrogen is, specific constituents which may be a problem for electrolyzers, and specific constituents which are of strong environmental concern.
This project will then develop an appropriate process train using unit operations and process modelling for the purification and electrolysis for hydrogen production of wastewater for specific industries. This will be supported by a techno-economic analysis to understand the economic implications of implementing such a system. This will be extended by optimizing the process train and operating point to maximize financial viability or minimize the environmental load. It will provide specific recommendations for economically viable methods for implementing and integrating these methods.
Outcomes from this work include a set of case studies of industries which benefit most from reusing wastewater to produce hydrogen; a set of process models to describe the energy, additive, material and equipment needs of the process; and a techno-economic analysis model to optimize process designs for financial cost or environmental burden. The model will be applied to the case studies and analysed for potential improvements to the process.
This project encourages the circular resource economy and identifies strategies for decarbonizing feedstocks from critical industries through process integration of wastes and feedstocks. It will provide specific recommendations and pathways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and the environmental load from wastewater releases.
Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree in engineering, or similar. Background knowledge of electrochemistry, water chemistry, or computational methods is beneficial.
EPSRC DTP studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for eligible UK students. EU and international students may be considered for a small number of awards at the UK rate. Full eligibility criteria can be found via the following link; https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/fees/what-my-fee-status
To apply for this studentship, please send your two-page CV to Dr. Nathanial Cooper at [email protected] no later than 16 February 2024. Applications may close early if the position is filled before this date.
Please note that any offer of funding will be conditional on securing a place as a PhD student. Candidates will need to apply separately for admission through the University's Graduate Admissions application portal; this can be done before or after applying for this funding opportunity. The applicant portal can be accessed via: www. graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/egegpdpeg. The final deadline for PhD applications is 16 May 2024, although it is advisable to apply earlier than this.
The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.Department/Location
Department of Engineering, CambridgeReference
17 January 2024Closing date
16 February 2024