PhD Research Project: Developing microalgae as cell factories for the sustainable manufacture of ch

United Kingdom
Oct 17, 2016
Nov 25, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

A major contemporary challenge in industrial manufacturing is the development of sustainable production processes. This includes reduced resource consumption and CO2 generation, and energy efficient operations with maximised product outputs. Several chemical precursors are currently sourced from fossil derived petroleum that is environmentally unsustainable. Microbial routes to the manufacture of simple chemical precursors and complex biopolymers offer sustainable alternatives. Microalgae offer a means of fixing atmospheric CO2, thus providing realistic reduction of carbon emissions and producing valuable chemicals and chemical precursors of high value. Natural pathways exist in microalgae for the production of chemical precursors of value, but these generally translate poorly into production routes per se. However, a combination of engineering and synthetic biology approaches can be used to develop sustainable production processes using microalgae.

The project will aim to develop microalgae as cell factories for the sustainable manufacture of chemicals and biopolymers of value. The emphasis will be on developing engineering strategies and synthetic biology approaches enabled through an understanding of microalgae metabolism and physiology towards development of sustainable manufacturing routes. A focus would be to develop processes that have multiple product pathways - the biorefinery concept. The work will take forward current investigations on microalgae characterisations for carbon sequestration and biofuel productions.

Funding Notes

The DTG provides funds for studentships (fees + stipend for UK applicants, fees only for EU students) on a competitive basis. Applications are welcome up until the closing date. Overseas applicants will not qualify for DTG funding but self funded/externally funded applications are welcome