PhD Fellowship in Chemical Engineering: Nanoparticles (NPs) for Water Management

Updated: about 2 months ago

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About the position

The Department of Chemical Engineering has a vacancy for a PhD Candidate within the field of nanoparticles for water management. The earliest start date for the position will be November 2020. 

The appointment has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of a further 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. 

The PhD Candidate will be affiliated with the Department of Chemical Engineering, NTNU Trondheim but the research work will be carried out in collaboration with Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering, NTNU Ålesund and Department of Water Management, TU Delft, the Netherlands. 

Project Description 

Slow Sand Filtration (SSF) is frequently applied as the final treatment step to remove pathogenic microorganisms for drinking water production. The performance of the SSF is affected by physical, chemical and biological processes such as temperature, age and thickness of the biologically active layer (Schmutzdecke), filter grain size, filtration rate and influent water quality. Research on SSF is often hindered by the fact that working with pathogenic organisms and organic micro pollutants can be scientifically challenging, expensive and time-consuming.  

This project aims at designing artificial nanoparticles as an index for bacteriophage MS2 (model virus), E. coli WR1 (model bacteria) and organic micro pollutants. The project will design a set of artificial nanoparticles with different functional groups on their surfaces and compare their behaviors with MS2 and E. coli WR1 in laboratory column experiments and in a pilot plant filtration unit. The observed breakthrough curves (BTCs) will be modelled to quantify inactivation, attachment, detachment and straining of MS2, WR1 and the nanoparticles. This project fits into a long-term collaboration between NTNU and TU Delft (The Netherlands). 

Main Supervisor: Sulalit Bandyopadhyay (Department of Chemical Engineering, NTNU, Trondheim) 

Co-Supervisors: Razak Seidu (Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering, NTNU Ålesund) and Thom Bogaard (Department of Water Management, TU Delft, the Netherlands) 

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