Engineering: Fully Funded M2A MSC by Research Scholarship: Treatment of Emerging Contaminants in Wastewater by Advanced Processes at Swansea University
Start date: October 2022
Expected interview date: May 2022
Academic supervisors: Dr Chedly Tizaoui and Dr Paul Williams
Industrial supervisor: Dr Michael Gerardo
Sponsoring company: Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is the statutory water and sewerage undertaker that supplies over three million people in Wales and some adjoining parts of England. We are owned by Glas Cymru, a single purpose, not-for-shareholder company. We provide essential public services to our customers by supplying their drinking water and then carrying away and dealing with their wastewater in a sustainable manner, one which protects our environment.
The presence of several chemicals in water poses a serious threat to the aquatic environment due to their toxic effects. Therefore, the removal of these compounds from wastewater should be evaluated and optimised to ensure a sustainable environment and protection of human health. Although wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been an essential component for the protection of the environment, the growing use and introduction of new chemicals in the society meant that conventional WWTPs are becoming unable to remove these chemicals. As part of the Chemical Investigation Programme 3 (CIP3) in the UK, three chemicals have been particularly identified as requiring monitoring due to their environmental risk. These chemicals are fluoranthene, TBT – tributyltin, and DEHP – di(2- ethylhexyl) phthalate (FTD). Although these three chemicals are currently monitored under CIP3, Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) may be imposed for them in the future. Thus, evaluation of treatment technologies that could enable the removal of FTD in a cost-effective manner is extremely important.
Focus of the Research Project:
This project will focus on advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) based on ozone and granular activated carbon to remove FTD. The aims of the project are:
- Develop an overview of the research that has been carried out to date on FTD.
- Benchtop test of multiple ozone-based AOPs/GAC to investigate the removal/destruction rates taking into account contact time, ozone dose, and different types of radical promotors.
- Tests to be carried out on standard solution and on spiked final effluent from two different wastewater treatment plants (activated sludge plant and a biofilter).
- An assessment of cost benefit analysis and direction for future research into testing and scaling up the solution.
All work will be carried out at Swansea University. However, this project will involve some site visits to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to understand how conventional wastewater treatment is carried out. The project will also involve sample collection from two WWTPs and possible visits to the Welsh Water labs.
COATED M2A recognises applicants have a variety of backgrounds with different educational and research experiences. We do not expect applicants to be proficient users of any techniques /equipment mentioned, at the time of application. Our focus is to upskill our participants and training will be provided.
COATED M2A in the Faculty of Science and Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry, providing access to world class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. COATED M2A is committed to providing top quality research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners.
Interwoven through the research study are business, technical and entrepreneurial courses, designed to support and prepare participants for a senior role in industry or academia, on completion of their studies.
The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation. Applications from women and other under-represented groups are particularly welcomed.
All applications will be anonymised prior to shortlisting.