GENetic diversity exploitation for Innovative Macro-ALGal biorefinery

Interreg funded Phd opportunity at SAMS

PhD description:

This project will examine the lifecycle opportunities for industrial wastewater treatment (WWT) using macroalgae/microalgae (e.g. in fish production, the whisky industry, agricultural effluents). It will address current barriers to the uptake of this technology, including seasonal variation in the performance of the algal biomass treatment of industrial WWT, which is often not addressed, and options for further use of the biomass as bioenergy feedstocks, for example bioethanol/biomethane. Plus the viability of other product streams from the biomass and how this relates to the initial wastestream utilised as the source of the growing media. Both macro and microalgae are rich sources of compounds omega-3, proteins, β-carotenes, vitamins and carbohydrates. Comprehensive studies have shown certain strains of microalgae to contain a significantly higher protein content (50 to 60%) than that of soybeans (35 to 38%) or wheat (15 to 17%) making it a viable alternative protein source, while the essential amino acid profile is favourable for the nutrition of farm animals. Whilst macroalgae are capable of addressing some of the concerns linked to energy usage and ease of harvesting. This project investigates the feasibility of combining a biorefinery approach to WWT and bioenergy production, plus identification of potential valuable product side streams.

The studentship covers fees, plus a stipend at the RCUK level, for a total of 39 months (including writing-up).

Funding is available for students worldwide, however non UK/EU students will be liable for the difference between home/EU and international fees.

Students must be domiciled in the Highlands and Islands region during the course of their study to be eligible for funding.

Students are expected to be based full-time at The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).

The deadline for applications is 22nd June 2018 (5pm). The project is expected to start on 1st October 2018.

For more information, click here.