PhD: Sunlight for a Sustainable Society: Using Solar Ponds to Capture and Store Solar Energy and Industrial Waste Heat for Desalination and Power Production

The University of Sheffield

Sheffield, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

About the Project

Clean water is at the heart of sustainable development. With

growing populations and shrinking resources it is predicted that 40% of the

World’s population will be living in serious water stress by 2050. In the

Middle East it is estimated that there is less than 500 m3 per

capita of renewable natural water sources, whereas the minimum limit for a

healthy life proposed by the UN is 1700 m3. Around 75% of worldwide

jobs are dependent on water. Water scarcity limits the potential for economic

growth. The scarcity of potable water in many developing countries demands

ground-breaking scientific initiatives so that the lives of future generations

will not be compromised.


collaboration with the University of Thi-Qar (Iraq), this project aims to

investigate the feasibility of deploying novel solar ponds to capture and store

heat to purify water. This project will deliver models of this new pond, to aid

with design of test ponds that will be built in Iraq. These ponds will provide

the infrastructure to conduct tests in real world conditions in this project

and beyond. Previous modelling of solar ponds has been of poor quality and on

an ad hoc basis. There is a need to develop a more comprehensive model that can

give more general insight into the parameters affecting pond performance. A

rigorous model of the solar pond will be developed in. This will offer a

significant improvement over the existing literature. This model will be

combined with a process model for thermal desalination in Aspen. This model of

the system will then be used to assess the technical and economic feasibility

of the solar pond system.

Funding Notes

Applicants must have achieved or expect to achieve a 1st class or 2:1 Honours degree in Chemical Engineering, Mathematics or a related discipline.
If English is not your first language then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component.
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