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Funded PhD Opportunity

Performance Study and Validation of the Downdraft Biomass Gasification Process for CHP Plants

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


The world will need increased energy supply in the near future due to the rapid growth of economies. It is greatly desired that fossil fuels can be replaced by biofuels to minimise environmental impact. The main goal of proposed project is to perform a comprehensive performance analysis of the effects of parameters in supply chain management, pre-treatment and conversion of forestry-wood by-products, with a focus on the use of biomass gasification for electricity and heat production.

The activities towards to bioenergy could be:

(1) Process modelling – the student will develop the feedstock supply chain and gasification kinetic models for the integrated biomass gasification CHP system. The models developed (e.g. syngas composition and syngas yield for gasifier operation) will be used to evaluate technical, economic and environmental performance of micro-generation fuelled by biomass in the building sector.

(2) Experimental study and model validation – the student will carry out a series of experimental work and the analyses of selected feedstocks at the range of process conditions and collect pilot test data. Model validation work will be applied by using the test results.

(3) Process integration – the syngas produced by a downdraft gasifier will be then cleaned up and fed to an internal combustion engine/or fuel cells for a combined heat and power application.

(4) Assessment – techno-economic and environmental assessment for the full bioenergy production chain will be carried out.

Essential criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £14,777 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.


    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 14,777 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 19 February 2018

Interview Date
12 March 2018


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Contact supervisor

Professor Ye Huang

Other supervisors

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