PhD studentship - Development of Novel Coatings to Resist Corrosion in Biomass-Fired Power Plants, Cranfield University

Updated: over 4 years ago
Location: Cranfield, ENGLAND
Deadline: 31 Aug 2012


PhD studentship - Development of Novel Coatings to Resist Corrosion in Biomass-Fired Power Plants
Application deadline:
31 August 2012
Dr Nigel Simms, Dr Tanvir Hussain and Professor John Nicholls
Duration of award:
3 years
Award type:

Part funded by the Biomass and Fossil Fuel Research Alliance (BF2RA) and an EPSRC DTA grant, a studentship of £13,590 p.a. for 3 years is available together with UK/EU tuition fees for qualified candidates*

Applications are invited from highly motivated and enthusiastic individuals with a keen interest in surface engineering and high temperature materials.

The fundamental research challenge to be addressed in this PhD project is to identify coating compositions that will resist the corrosion environments found on heat exchanger tubes (superheater/ reheater) in power generating boilers firing a high proportion of biomass fuels. The use of biomass in utility boilers offers a means to reduce global CO2 emissions by introducing CO2 neutral fuels into the power generation industry. However, biomass firing can have a significant effect on the fireside corrosion of the heat exchanger materials; resulting in premature component failure and unscheduled shut-downs. The development of effective corrosion resistance coatings would enable power plant operators to combat the corrosion problems arising from utilising a high proportion of biomass and so operate at higher efficiencies.

The successful PhD candidate will utilize “combinatorial alloy development” methods using a multi-target magnetron sputtering system to manufacture a wide range of potential coating compositions (i.e. varying combinations of Cr, Al, Ni, Co and Fe). The model coatings will then be exposed in controlled atmosphere furnaces to simulate combustion environments found in boilers firing fuels with a high share of biomass.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have an UK upper second class honours degree or equivalent in chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering or a related discipline. A master degree relating to surface engineering, high temperature materials or corrosion science is desirable but not essential.


This is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort between the Centre for Energy and Resource Technology and the Surface Science and Engineering Centre at Cranfield University. The project is part funded by the Biomass and Fossil Fuel Research Alliance (BF2RA), and so will have close links to industrial application of the technology. An EPSRC DTA grant will co-fund the project - to find out about eligibility criteria click here

Applicants are eligible for a bursary of up to £13,590 p.a. for the duration of the award dependent upon qualifications and experience. This studentship will cover the tuition fees for qualified UK/EU students only.  Non UK/EU students will have to pay 

School of Applied Sciences Tuition Fees 2012/2013

How to apply

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form. For further information contact us today:

School of Applied Sciences
T: +44 (0)1234 754086

Please note that we are unable to consider submissions for specific research studentships that fall outside of the stated eligibility criteria.

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