Optimising biomass milling, classification and conveying for enhanced power generation

Closing Date
Tuesday, 27th September 2022

This project will explore the fundamental link between biomass milling, classification and conveying to optimise biomass processing. The project will explore the fundamental science of milling fracture mechanics to develop a test for the critical particle size for comminution through compression for biomass particles. This test will be bench marked against the industry standard bond work index milling test and milling in a lab scale vertical spindle mill.
 The fundamental science behind classification will be investigated to ascertain the impact of biomass particle size and shape on classification and linked back to milling fracture mechanics. A model will be developed which can predict if classification will be successful based on the milled product from the grinding bed. An existing rig which examines biomass conveying in pipes will be further developed to analyse a wide range of biomass particle flow conditions.
 A novel biomass particle roping rig will be built to investigate roping and its link to biomass particle size and shape. Roping mitigation strategies will be developed, which will then be verified on a laboratory vertical spindle mill with pneumatic classification.
 This would be a four-year project based in the new Resilient Decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems CDT based at The University of Nottingham and working alongside Net Zero Research partners.
We are seeking applicants to start in October 2022. Applicants are expected to have obtained (or be heading for) a First or Upper-second degree at Master’s level (or equivalent) in Mechanical or Chemical Engineering and be highly motivated. The project will be a mixture of lab based and modelling experiments. They should have broad interests in renewable and low carbon technologies, and in the application of these technologies. Furthermore, the applicant should have a desire to gain industrial experience during the EngD. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills, which will be essential for collaborations, disseminating the results via journal publications and attendance at international conferences.


The PhD student will work within the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)  “Resilient Decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems”. In addition to the standard EPSRC stipend and payment of UK fees, there will be a stipend enhancement of £3,750 per annum for 4 years, with £6,000 per annum of funding for research costs and travel.
Please apply to the University of Nottingham. 

Please apply here

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section of the application. This will help in ensuring your application is sent directly to the academic advertising the studentship. 

Informal enquiries may be sent to Dr Orla Williams ( Please note that applications sent directly to those email addresses will not be accepted.