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Agro-waste Based Composite Friction Materials

Sponsor: Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)

Research regarding the use of bio-based virgin materials is becoming prominent owing to the increasing environmental concerns across the globe and the need for eco-materials. Pushing beyond the conventional boundary of eco-materials that are suitable for friction application, this project aims to explore the historical and present material usage in friction materials (FMs) and assess the possibility of replacing them with more environmentally friendly materials that offer benefits regarding reduced environmental footprint, improved health and safety profile. The likely success of the work will also enhance the economic value of the selected bio-based residues.

Ammonia Recovery from Wastewater

Sponsor: Severn Trent Water

This four-year project is sponsored by the EPSRC and Severn Trent, one of the leading wastewater treatment companies in the UK. The company is at the forefront of innovation with investments in renewables and circular economy technologies.

In this regard, ammonia is a pollutant in water and thus must be removed; at the same time, it is also a resource that can be exploited. The project aims at developing a sustainable technology that is able to remove effectively ammonia from wastewater and recover valuable products that can find new applications in the economy, such as fertilisers.


Application and Implementation of AMPLiFII Modular, Scalable, Flexible Battery Module and Pack Architecture (AMPLiFII 2)

Transport is a major source of greenhouse gases and electric vehicles are seen as the main answer to the transport sector’s problems of diminishing oil supplies and global warming. Electric vehicles offer advantages in terms of maintenance requirements and zero tailpipe emissions, the last of which contributes to reducing urban air pollution.

Given that technology development in electric vehicles is still advancing, forecasts show significant developments in battery pack technology. AMPLiFII 2 is a two year Innovate UK funded project aimed at determining the environmental and economic implications due to the development of novel battery packs for use in electric vehicles.

Circular Economy of Energy Storage Systems

This project focuses on end of life Li ion batteries, their sustainable management and supply chain in the context of three main themes i.e. systems, materials and sustainable supply chain.

It targets the sustainability aspect and is aimed at developing a multi criteria decision aid (MCDA) approach to support decision makers in selecting the most sustainable end of life pathway for a battery. The MCDA approach will take into account environmental, economic and social aspects of any process route and different options will be weighed as per the requirements of various stakeholders. The approach can be developed at any scale ranging from accounting only one step of a process to multiple processes.

Life after frying

This PhD project is focusing on the development of environmentally-friendly alternatives for the composite industry based on bio-based epoxies.

Based on the principle of waste valorisation, we have investigated the use of waste cooking oil as an alternative and more sustainable oleochemical platform that adds environmental, economic and social benefits to its production chain.

These developments have led to the production of composite laminates with flax, glass and recycled carbon fibres with competitive and unique mechanical properties.

Materials and process development of recycled carbon fibre

Research involves a wide array of processing and materials characterisation of recycled carbon fibre products. The work entails process development of short fibre and non-woven recycled carbon fibre materials using traditional and sustainable processing routes. These recycled materials are characterised and optimised for commercial applications.

Microbial electrolysis cells for Wastewater Treatment

Sponsor: Severn Trent Water.

Wastewater treatment is a vital, yet expensive and unsustainable component of our society. A need for a more environmentally friendly alternative to the current methods used to treat wastewater is required. Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) have the potential to fill this gap as they are able to simultaneously treat and produce renewable energy in the form of hydrogen from wastewater. However, high capital costs, efficiency and performance must be addressed for successful implementation.

Modifications of thermoplastics using recycled carbon fibres

Sponsor: ELG

The research has investigated the processability of recycled carbon fibre textiles in hybrid form via compression moulding. Furthermore, it has focused on the modification of the matrix or fibre to improve the interfacial performance within the composite on micro level where the enhancement of its macro-mechanical performance is targeted. The project is conducted at the EPSRC Centre of Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing in cooperation with ELG Carbon Fibres Ltd.