- Written by UmU staff, editing by A.S.
The Department of Applied Physics and Electronics is recruiting a PhD student to the Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory of Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. The aim is to investigate the chemical environment of phosphorus in ashes to understand the way in which this vital element can be recycled in a good way. The deadline for applications is 14 February 2020. The new position will start 2 March 2020 or by other agreement.
Phosphorus is one of the essential elements that has a linear use: from mine to land and water. This cycle has been identified as one of the biogeochemical flows that constitute a high-risk factor for a sustainable development of the planet. To end the cycle, thermal processes such as combustion and gasification are needed to deal with the large amounts of phosphorus-rich residual streams that are not being used to their full potential. Phosphorus binds to other elements in such a way that it becomes a limiting factor in phophorus recycling from ash.
This PhD project aims to investigate the chemical environment of phosphorus in ash from thermochemical conversion of biomass or of certain types of waste. The PhD student will work on a research project called, Fundamental studies of chemical speciation in ash fractions from thermal conversion of biomass and waste streams focusing on phosphates and heavy metals. It is funded by a Swedish national funding body, the Swedish Research Council. The project will help determine whether potentially harmful elements such as zinc and copper bind to phosphates from ash fractions and the way in which this may affect the solubility of phosphates in cases were ashes are used directly as fertilizers.