Date Posted
1 Mar 2024

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PhD Project
RMIT University

PhD Position

1 Mar 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

PhD Scholarship in the School of Engineering, RMIT University

Project Title : Investigating the feasibility of pyrolysis/co-pyrolysis of the Victorian biosolids

Project Summary
Biosolids are stabilised sewage sludge obtained from wastewater treatment plants. The project explores the feasibility of pyrolysis or co-pyrolysis of different Victorian Biosolids as well as alum sludge. Pyrolysis has been considered as an effective alternative to biosolids management. Biochar produced from the pyrolysis of biosolids can be a more valuable product compared to the biosolids. It can certainly have applications in agriculture, remediation, construction and advance energy systems. The pyrolysis process can also mitigate the issues associated with biosolids stockpiling and associated land application costs and may minimise/eliminate the risks related to odour, pathogens, micro-plastics, drugs and other emerging contaminants and heavy metals by destroying them or reduce their bioavailability by encapsulating them within the biochar structure. The project will perform experimental and modelling investigations of co-pyrolysis of biosolids applying TGA coupled with FTIR as well as fixed bed and fluidised bed reactors. The co-pyrolysis products will be characterised by several analytical instruments including GC-MS, H-NMR, XRD, SEM, ICP and elemental analyser. In addition, life cycle analysis and techno-economic assessment will be performed.

The role: PhD candidate 2019 – 2021
This PhD position is an outcome of water industry-university partnership, to support the production of knowledge and development of technology that is systematically implemented in the university educational settings. The PhD candidate will be supported with a scholarship funded by the industries as well as by RMIT University based at RMIT’s School of Engineering. The candidate may need to visit industry sites to collect samples and present the progress.

The scholarship (stipend) is valued at $31,000 per annum for 3 years (2019 – 2021).

• open to Australian Citizens and permanent residents of Australia only
• have a degree in chemical or environmental engineering, chemistry or environmental science or related field
• provide evidence of good oral and written communication skills
• demonstrate ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team
• meet RMIT University’s entry requirements for the Higher Degree by Research programs

How to Apply

How to apply To apply, please submit the following documents to Dr Sazal Kundu ( (1) curriculum vitae, (2) academic transcripts and (3) evidence of English test if English is the second language. Applications close 30th April 2019 at 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Daylight Time.

Position Category: Engineering. Position Type: PhD Project.