Current climate change concerns and the post COVID world call for urgent solutions to develop sustainable societies. Nonfood biomass instead of petroleum is an option to produce cleaner biofuels, bioplastics and more.
To achieve some sustainable goals, biomass needs to be transformed by sustainable manufacturing, which is in line with several initiatives, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, a key step on biomass transformation is to rigorously know its chemical composition at elemental and molecular level with the purpose of enabling the selection of fit-for-purpose biomass for industrial applications.
Biomass elemental analysis is also needed in forensics, waste management, farming, nutritional formulations, combustion and the food-water-energy nexus, to cite a few. It is expensive, tedious, lengthy and requires a set of advanced skills available from commercial suppliers. However, this can be overcome at CCCU thanks to a new opportunity. CCCU recently acquired a state-of-the-art Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled to Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis. SEM-EDX can provide visual information on biomass structure and composition of elements like carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, calcium and many more. This internship will set up a protocol in support of biomass characterization through SEM-EDX analysis.
Duties and responsibilities
The successful Research Intern aims at developing and testing one transferable reliable protocol for elemental analysis of biomass through SEM-EDX. The research intern will work to deliver the Project Milestones. Including, carrying out SEM-EDX microscopy and elemental analysis of biomass samples; writing reports (analyses done with methods of the manufacturer; preliminary and final analyses with fit-for-purpuse protocol and real samples; protocols, final report, presentation slides and poster to cite a few). The intern will be directly involved with the day-to-day running of the project; data analysis and interpretation; delivering research tasks; contribute to discussions about the project with project partners.
Skills and experience
Please note that applicants must be current CCCU students on taught undergraduate or postgraduate courses (not PhDs).
Experience working in laboratories, e.g. chemistry, biology, engineering or relevant Confident skills on qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis of samples from living organism Strong literature searching skills Strong skills using Microsoft software and programmes (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) Strong interpersonal and communication skills Strong skills on writing up technical reports, posters and presentations Attention to detail Undertake work independently and as part of a team High level of organizational skills
Proposed interview date -between 16 to 20 January 2023.
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