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Optimisation of Battery Recycling Processes (EngD)

EngD in Optimisation of Battery Recycling Processes

Do you have an interest in sustainability? Do you want to be involved in one of the most exciting research areas? Are you ready to join a world leading organisation in battery technology research? We are looking for an outstanding candidate with an interest in battery technology, who wants to apply their skills and help to develop the UK’s battery recycling capabilities.

The world is on the cusp of an electric revolution. For almost a century, internal combustion vehicles have dominated all form of transport (road, air, sea). But, climate change and resource scarcity are driving a change in the way we move about. Electric vehicles are now replacing ICE vehicles at stunning speeds. In 2021, 45% of all passenger vehicles sold in the UK contained a traction battery with weights ranging from 10 kg to more than 600 kg. All these batteries will eventually require recycling. By 2040, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of batteries will be reaching end-of-life each year. The batteries contain valuable and strategic elements that are vital to the future of our automotive industry.

WMG and Recyclus have created an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) focused on the development of battery recycling technologies. The EngD encompasses a four-year programme supporting talented individuals at varying career stages to develop new critical skill sets in this sector and will also focus on addressing contemporary industrial and technical challenges across the battery recycling sector.

Working in WMG Energy Innovation Centre and Recyclus, you will investigate the following activities (but not limited):

  • Undertake a market research to assess the availability of materials from lithium ion batteries and potential markets for products.
  • Work at Recyclus sites to find optimal operational parameters for recycling machinery (e.g. materials characterisation, screening efficiency for scalability).
  • Apply advanced technologies for powders separation (e.g. eddy current separators, magnetic separators for industrialisation targets).
  • Investigate post treatment processes (e.g. electrolyte recovery, vacuum drying and analysis)
  • Technology synergies between lead-acid and lithium-ion battery recycling.

Person skills requirement:

  • A degree (2:1 or above) in chemical engineering, material science/engineering or related field.
  • An awareness of the recycling industry and the types of machinery commonly used in the industry.
  • Experience in materials characterisation techniques, for example SEM, XRD, ICP etc
  • Knowledge of Batteries and how they work.
  • Awareness of the health and safety implications associated with battery recycling.
  • Comfortable with using CAD or related computer software.

The post will equip you well for leading roles in the industry and academia. You will become highly trained and gain new knowledge in industrial datasets for R&D, plus the industrialisation aspects of recycling technology innovation.

About Recyclus Group (UK) Limited

Recyclus has developed the first industrial scale process that can work across all of the key lithium-ion battery technologies. The process allows economic recovery of a large percentage of battery materials, which help protect the environment, secure valuable raw materials, reduce the cost of transport and support the UK with its COP26 commitments.

About WMG Energy Innovation Centre (EIC)

WMG is an internationally renowned academic department of the University, known for bridging the gap between industry and academia, working with companies and organisations on both fundamental and applied research to provide the skills needed for both the current and future needs of industry. WMG EIC supports test, development and scale-up of battery chemistries and recycling technologies from concept to commercially viable devices for industrial evaluation. Core activities cover materials, manufacturing, characterisation, testing and recycling of battery materials, electrodes, cells, modules and packs.

Funding and Eligibility

Funding of £17,109 plus annual top up of £3.000 is available for UK/EU applicants for 4 years.

Funding is available to eligible Home fee statusLink opens in a new window and UK domicile EU students.

To apply

To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV.

Please ensure you meet the minimum requirements before filling in the online form.

Key Information:

Funding Source: Warwick Industrial Fellowship

Stipend: £17,109 plus annual top up of £3.000

Supporting company: Recyclus Group Ltd

Supervisor: Dr John Low

Available to UK nationals and Home fees students

Start date: June 2022