Optimising the use of cement bypass dust and other soil alkalising agents in agriculture to enhance crop yields


3 Year Industry-led Funded Phd: Ref. No. CGE56

Industrial by-products such as cement by-pass dust (CBD) have historically been disposed in landfill, though they are increasingly being recognised for their potential to replace conventional fertilisers and, more typically, lime in agriculture. However, current DEFRA recommendations for lime application may not be appropriate for all soil types, sometimes locking up nutrients, thus negating potential agricultural benefits.

This PhD studentship represents a unique opportunity to firstly characterise the agricultural suitability of several CBD sources and secondly re-assess current liming recommendations to ensure crop type is optimal for liming strategy.

Applicants should have a relevant 2:1 degree in the plant, soil or agricultural sciences and have an interest in enhancing the sustainability of agriculture by optimising crop nutrient management. We anticipate the successful applicant will have interests in plant growth trials and on-farm measurements of soil and crop responses.

Industry Partner

Silverwoods Waste Management offers services in consultancy and environmental permitting, in-vessel composting, land spreading of industrial waste and total waste management.  The business has won numerous awards including Lancashire’s Rural Business, Green Business and Small Business to name just a few.  Silverwoods are currently managing over 350,000t/yr of a wide range of wastes including Lime Wastes produced from the Cement Industry.  Having recently secured a 3 year contract with Hanson Cement, we are looking to appoint a PhD student to assess how we can optimise the use of the bypass dusts and increase our profile in the waste recycling industry.

Application Details

This project has now been recruited.

Why Apply?

By joining the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation you will:

  • Receive £15,000 tax free per year
  • Have your postgraduate tuition fees paid for by your partner business, worth £4,195/year (fees for Non EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,510/year to £13,315/year at 2016 rates)
  • Become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.