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PhD Projects Seeking Sponsorship

Zero Emissions PhD project seeking further co-sponsorship

 

Project No  4542-18

Project Title
Operational Improvements to Mitigate Methane Emissions from
Sludge Drying Lagoons

University
University of Queensland

Supervisors
Prof Zhiguo Yuan [UQ] and Dr Ben van den Akker [SA Water]

PhD Student
Sarah Aucote

Commencement
Semester 2, 2018

Sponsors
SA Water Corporation and Melbourne Water

 

Direct all enquiries to
Dr Ben van den Akker   08 7424 1878  /  0421 077 971

  • The initial project scope is detailed below, however as it is not finalised lends itself to incorporating your input
  • Be part of a dynamic research team and leading edge technology
  • Open to Sponsors wishing to be involved or to Sponsors who value the research and want a seat at the table
  • This project has no limitations with further funding partners!

Cost
Seeking funding contributions of $20K - $30K which can be budgeted over a 3 year period.  Alternatively, should you have surplus in this year's budget, WaterRA can invoice before end of June and contract to the PhD Project.

Project Scope
For some Australian water utilities, there is a regulatory requirement to reduce or achieve net zero emissions which will place the water sector at the forefront of needing to develop emissions management and abatement strategies.  Our collective challenge as water industries is that there is currently no readily available process or operational means to significantly reduce Scope 1 emissions (fugitive gases from wastewater treatment plants).  The purchase of carbon offsets may assist in the short-term but does not offer a long-term sustainable or cost effective solution.  Alternatively, the development of new technology and operational improvements will play a major role in delivering sustainable abatement outcomes in the long term.

In the context of wastewater treatment, fugitive emissions (methane and nitrous oxide) can represent >70% of a WWTP's total emissions.  A significant source of methane may be attributed to sludge drying lagoons which are a preferred sludge treatment and drying method due to the low construction and operational cost. A previous investigation conducted in South Australia suggested that methane emissions alone from sludge drying lagoons can represent one-quarter to two-thirds of the overall WWTP total emissions (DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04844).

Accordingly, a PhD project has been proposed by SA Water in conjunction with the University of Queensland, AWMC team and Melbourne Water, which will explore operational improvements that can be applied to mitigate methane emissions from sludge lagoons.  In particular, the study will investigate the use of alternative water caps (such as secondary effluent), which provides a source of nitrate and may enrich for denitrifying microorganisms in the sludge layer, which can perform anaerobic methane oxidation.  Other water caps that may facilitate methane oxidation as well as offer additional operational benefits will also be explored.  A PhD candidate has already been identified and enrolled at University of Queensland.  The PhD candidate will be based at SA Water, AWQC research laboratories.

 

 

WaterRA needs your assistance to continue building capability and capacity in the water sector.  We have received quality projects seeking sponsorship, which will provide students with added benefits to ensure their experience is enhanced by the opportunites offered through WaterRA.

A PhD student package includes top-up stipend, operating allowance, mentor, introduction to AWA, in particular YWP networks, industry exposure, WaterRA member engagement and more...

To ensure high quality students are selected and due diligence is transparent throughout the process, the student applications are assessed by the Education Committee.

WaterRA students have been successful in presenting their research nationally and internationally, view the Showcase brochure to read about their achievements.

The cost of a PhD student package over the 3 years is $37,000.  This is relatively low cost to have a research need addressed  which is of interest to your organisation.  Please note, projects can be co-sponsored.

Each of these projects have identified a highly qualified student to undertake the project.

If you have an interest in a project listed below, read through the full project proposal and contact the Program Manager - Education, Carolyn Bellamy by e-mail or 08 7424 2443. 

I look forward to hearing from you...

 

 

 

 

FURTHER PROJECTS FOR SPONSORSHIP WILL BE LISTED BELOW FROM SEPTEMBER 2018

 

PhD Projects available for Sponsorship - $37,000 (can be invoiced over 3 years)

Click on the link below to view the full project proposal

Contact Carolyn Bellamy to be sent the student application for review

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Honours Projects available for Sponsorship - $17,000

Click on the link below to view the full project proposal

Contact Carolyn Bellamy to be sent the student application for review

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Links to Documents

WaterRA Contact for Education Initiatives

Carolyn Bellamy

Program Manager - Education
08 7424 2443
carolyn.bellamy@waterra.com.au