Improvement of biomethane yields from agricultural feedstock Walsh Scholarship

Open Date: N/A
Close Date: 15 August 2024

Location: Teagasc Grange, Co. Meath and NUI Galway

External link:

Improvement of biomethane yields from agricultural feedstock Walsh Scholarship.

This four-year project has recently been funded by the Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Programme. Two partner organizations will participate in this project: the School of Engineering/Ryan Institute, University of Galway; and the Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Grange (the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority). This project will provide financial support to a student who will be registered in University of Galway.

This project will provide solutions for maximising methane production and reducing methane losses in anaerobic digestion (AD) plants to promote the application of AD as a source of bioenergy from grass silage and animal slurry. In the long term, this project should contribute to a thriving, sustainable and circular bio-economy, and to the creation of wealth and quality jobs in rural areas.

The student will conduct the research under the supervision of Prof. Xinmin Zhan at University of Galway and Dr. Ciara Beausang at Teagasc Grange. The research project will comprise tasks investigating:

(1) pre-treatment of agricultural feedstocks for maximizing gas yields;

(2) quantification of fugitive gas loss from the AD plants and digestate storage in Teagasc Grange and other AD plants in operation in Ireland;

(3) exploration of measures to mitigate fugitive gas loss; and,

(4) environmental sustainability analysis of co-digestion of slurry and grass silage taking account of pretreatment and emissions mitigation options.

The student must start before February 2025 and will receive a high level of support from the two partner institutions. The Environmental Research Group at University of Galway will provide access to environmental analysis and lab-scale co-anaerobic digestion reactors. Teagasc will provide the students with experience in grassland and manure management and access to whole farm systems simulation models and a full-scale digester on site.

The stipend paid to the successful candidates will be €25,000 per annum for four years, in addition to tuition fees of €6,000 per annum. Applicants must have a degree (2.1 minimum) in environmental engineering, environmental science, microbiology, biochemical engineering, agricultural sciences or a related discipline. A high level of competency in spoken and written English is required. Please see the following link with regard to English Language requirements

Please send your CV and a cover letter with names and contact details of two referees to Prof. Xinmin Zhan or Dr. Ciara Beausang. The application deadline is 15 August 2024. For additional information please contact Prof. Xinmin Zhan, School of Engineering & Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy, University of Galway [e-mail:]
or Dr. Ciara Beausang, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath [email:].