Postgraduate research opportunities

Atomic/molecular insights into the formation of valuable products from waste biomass

Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Dynamics calculations will be carried out to explore the mechanism and kinetics of lignocellulosic biomass processing and the conversion of waste into valuable products.

Number of places



3 March 2021


3 years


Applications are invited from candidates who have achieved, or are predicted, a first class or upper second class honours in Chemical Engineering/Chemistry, or an equivalent qualification at Masters level. Experience in Computational modelling, Quantum Chemistry calculations, or Molecular Dynamics modelling would be advantageous.

Project Details

Lignocellulosic biomass is a green alternative fossil resource to produce fuels (e.g. transport fuel, aviation fuel) and value-added products (e.g. light olefins, gases, liquid chemicals). The formation of these products through routes such as pyrolysis and gasification is more advanced rather than traditional burning thus it is promising to address societal demands for ‘green energy’ and sustainability. However, the complicated operating system and inefficient conversion rate largely limit the industrialisation of this process. Within this project, high-efficient solutions are expected to be provided by investigating the mechanism insights of the formation process of these products.

Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Dynamics calculations will be carried out to explore the mechanism and kinetics of the process of converting waste into valuable products. This innovated project is ideally suited to students with the creativity and motivation to solve engineering problems using scientific-based principles. The student may expect to build his/her career in the area of bioenergy, sustainable energy and green chemistry.

The applicant will work closely with collaborators from UK and abroad (e.g. China) and will be expected to participate in relevant national and international conferences, and develop journal papers within the research field.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Funding Details

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources. 

Contact us

James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G1 1XJ

How to apply

Apply for this project here – please quote the project title in your application.

During the application you'll be asked for the following information and evidence uploaded to the application:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if you are not from a majority English-speaking country as recognised by UKVI
  • two references, one of which must be academic. Please see our guidance on referees
  • funding or scholarship information
  • international students must declare any previous UK study

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

Useful resources

Your application and offer

Application System Guide

Fees and funding