PhD Scholarship - Improved Wastewater Pre-Treatment for Enhanced Recovery of Green Ammonia

Date: 30 May 2023

Location: Perth, WA, AU

Company: CSIRO


Acknowledgement of Country 

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation


The Opportunity


  • Are you passionate about a career in research?
  • Want to access CSIRO's world-class facilities and staff?
  • Apply for the UWA-CSIRO PhD Scholarship!


The CSIRO and University of Western Australia are partnering to offer a PhD Scholarship to conduct research into improved wastewater pre-treatment for enhanced recovery of green ammonia. 




Ammonia (NH3) has recently been recognised as a suitable renewable energy carrier. Recovering NH3 from wastewater is potentially more energy efficient than producing NH3 by Haber-Bosch process. It is also more energy efficient to produce hydrogen from NH3 than by water electrolysis. Various technologies for recovering NH3 from waste streams have been reviewed with the bipolar membrane electrodialysis (BPMED) process being identified as the most promising. BPMED allows ammonium to be removed from water and to simultaneously produce concentrated dissolved NH3 (ammonium hydroxide), without using chemicals, only electricity.


Project aim and objectives


While BPMED has been shown to be efficient to extract ammonia from synthetic waters, some level of pre-treatments is needed in order to ensure that the process is sustainable when treating wastewater. The aim of this project is to explore various pre-treatment strategies to efficiently control fouling and optimise the BPMED process efficiency in terms of ammonia recovery and energy consumption. Various pre-treatment options will be trialled including but not limited to: 1) membrane filtration, 2) chemical precipitation, 3) gas sparging or degassing, and 4) ion exchange membrane. The BPMED technology has the potential to turn a waste into a resource based on circular economy.


The candidate will work within a vibrant and interdisciplinary team, and be provided opportunity to develop skills in a diversity of domains, drawing on the expertise of an interdisciplinary and globally-recognised team of supervisors and collaborators. The skills acquired through this PhD will open many opportunities for the student wishing to pursue a career in academia, government or industry, particularly given the interdisciplinary experience and the ability to work with and communicate with a variety of people and organisations. The student will be provided with opportunities to engage with government and non-government organisations relevant to the project. This project provides the student with a unique opportunity to sit at the forefront of water research and the production of green energy, with an application that has the potential to reduce green house gas emissions and produce green energy. 


Location:          Perth, WA

Scholarship:     $35,000 per annum

Tenure:              3 years

Reference:        91320



To be eligible to apply you must:

  • have a MSc or BSc (Honours) degree in Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering or a relevant field;
  • expertise in water treatment, membrane technology, production of green energy or any field relevant to the project; and
  • gain admission to the University of Western Australia as a PhD student.


International applicants must have an appropriate Australia visa that will allow them to take up the scholarship.  


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.


Further information

For further information please see or contact Sebastien Allard via email at:


How to apply

Applicants should send a cover letter and CV by email to Sebastien Allard via email at:


Applications close

30 June 2023, 11.00pm AEST