Effect of injection coal volatile matter on Blast Furnace top gas carbon

Key Information

The Tata Steel integrated steel works in Port Talbot is one of the last remaining integrated steel works in the UK. The Blast Furnaces are the main drivers of the site’s underlying financial performance. Therefore, their efficient and stable operations are paramount for the long-term future of the business.

The bulk of the operating costs of the Blast Furnaces are the raw materials. These are ferrous materials (sinter, pellets and lump ores) and reductants (coke and injection coal). Injection coal can displace coal and it is significantly cheaper than coke. Therefore its use is to be maximised in order for the Port Talbot Steel Works to remain competitive. However, this is not without its challenges as a certain amount of coke is required for a stable Blast Furnace operation and under certain conditions, some of the injected coal bypasses the material in the Blast Furnace without participating in the process and leaves the furnace in the top gas. This is then collected as Blast Furnace flue dust.

Project Aims

1.       Spend time on plant to familiarise oneself with the process

2.       Characterise various types of injection coal in use at Port Talbot

3.       Sample and analyse flue dust material

4.       Correlate injection coal parameters to flue dust composition and emission rates.

5.       Developing tools to assist in strategic raw materials decision-making

Suitable candidate 

Background in Engineering or Science discipline and have excellent communication skills both verbal & written.

Must have own means of transport and will be expected to spend some time on site in order to broaden horizons and improve understanding of the Tata Steel processes.


Sponsoring Company Tata Steel

Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. 

 Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a UK or EU citizen (i.e. eligible for ‘home’ tuition fees at the University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of your studies.
  • You must be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the point of enrolment and throughout the duration of your studies.
  • You must not be financially able to participate without the award of grant funding.

Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at: http://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation.


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.

Closing Date 28 February 2018

Start Date October 2018

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk