Natural Polymers and their derivatives (from wood/plants based biomass) have excellent ability to absorb a water several times their own weight, hence they can act as a superabsorbent materials to store water. We have developed regenerated natural polymers based fibres which can store high volume of water as well as the organic fertilisers/plant growth boosters. Such fibres when mixed with soil for the farmland will have ability to retain high level of moister as well as release the organic fertilisers, crop booster for growth of crops.

The focus of the proposed research project is to manufacture multifunctional natural polymer fibres and textiles and to integrate fertilisers and crop growth boosters. We have developed an environmentally benign method for manufacturing of natural polymers based fibres using ionic liquid as a “green” solvent [Rahatekar et al, Polymer, 2010; Zhu et al, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2016; Singh et al, Nanoscale, 2017] which will be used as a the above mentioned multifunctional fibres. Read more Read less

Natural Polymers and their derivatives (from wood/plants based biomass) have excellent ability to absorb a water several times their own weight, hence they can act as a superabsorbent materials to store water. We have developed regenerated natural polymers based fibres which can store high volume of water as well as the organic fertilisers/plant growth boosters. Such fibres when mixed with soil for the farmland will have ability to retain high level of moister as well as release the organic fertilisers, crop booster for growth of crops.

The focus of the proposed research project is to manufacture multifunctional natural polymer fibres and textiles and to integrate fertilisers and crop growth boosters. We have developed an environmentally benign method for manufacturing of natural polymers based fibres using ionic liquid as a “green” solvent [Rahatekar et al, Polymer, 2010; Zhu et al, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2016; Singh et al, Nanoscale, 2017] which will be used as a the above mentioned multifunctional fibres.

The student will learn the following techniques/skills:

• Natural polymer-based fibres and textiles manufacturing
• Mechanical testing of the textiles to test its performance under stress;
• Study Water absorption capacity studies of the natural polymer fibres
• Study simultaneous release of organic fertiliser and the water storage capability
• Effect of addition of natural polymer based superabsorbent hydrogel fibres as for improved growth of plants

The student will get an opportunity to present the research paper at one international conference.

Cranfield is a research intensive university which is ranked in the top five UK universities for commercial income for research, and we are able to invest in and become home to many world-class, large-scale facilities, which enhance our teaching and research.

Cranfield University is ranked top 50 in the world in the QS world university rankings for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering.

As a part of this project, we will work with our industrial collaborator UNI B Solutions (Chicago, Illinois, USA) who are working on municipal waste management solutions including biomass waste conversion to organic soil conversion based waste management solution. Mr Binu Mohan, director of this company will act as an industrial advisor and act as an industrial advisor for the PhD student.

Based on the performance of the student during the PhD studies there will be a potential employment opportunity to work in UNI B solutions after completing their studies.


At a glance

  • Application deadline31 Mar 2020
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start dateAs soon as possible
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU, Rest of World
  • Reference numberSATM132

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an equivalent of first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, science (chemistry/physics) or engineering or closely related field. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.

Funding

This is a self-funded project; the students are expected to cover their fees and living expenses. The UK/EU/Overseas students can join this PhD project as long they can pay the tuition fees and cover their living expenses.

About the sponsor

Sponsored by The student need to arrange their own funding for PhD studies

NOTE: If a student is in receipt of government funding for their degree course the advert must state that they will not eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.


How to apply

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dr Sameer S Rahatekar
Email: S.S.Rahatekar@cranfield.ac.uk
T: +44 1234 754685