PhD scholarship: Biocoke Production


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Engineering and Computing, Science and Mathematics
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship
Scholarship value $28,092 per annum (2020 rate), indexed annually
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances
Opening date 20 August 2020
Closing date 25 September 2020


The export of metallurgical coal to the EU and Japan is currently a major industry for Australia. In these overseas countries coal is transformed to coke and used in blast furnaces to produce steel. There is currently no viable replacement for coke and attention has turned to whether renewable biomass feedstocks can be blended with coal to reduce fossil-fuel derived CO2. There are substantial challenges around producing cokes having acceptable strength and reaction properties. Predicting strength and reactivity for coal blends has been an area of research in UQ’s School of Chemical Engineering and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the research outcomes have shed light on how to successfully blend biomass derived feedstocks. These outcomes have led to this project.

This project involves using a variety of experimental and analytical tools to track the physical and chemical mechanisms occurring during the pyrolysis and carbonisation of coal/biomass blends. These tools include high temperature rheometry to obtain viscoelastic properties, thermogravimetric analysis to monitor volatile release behaviour, 13C NMR, XPS and X-ray micro-CT analysis to track changes to the molecular structure and microstructure. This tracking will enable the PhD candidate to build a comprehensive account of the mechanisms leading to the strength and reactivity properties of the coke. From this the candidate will be able to identify optimum blend designs and engage in technology transfer activities. It follows that this project is focused on obtaining new knowledge and on developing a new technology for steelmakers as they become increasingly focused on their CO2 emissions. The skills and expertise acquired is expected to lead to career opportunities in industry.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘BIOCOKE’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of Engineering (Chemical or Mechanical) and Science (Chemistry or Geology) or a related discipline and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of sustainable engineering is highly desirable.

Applications are closed.


Associate Professor Karen Steel
+61 7 3365 3977
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.