Internship – Testing of adhesive substances for briquette production by International Fertilizer Development Center

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Job Description

Background 

FERARI has been conducting trials with fertilizers briquettes during the 2020 season with promising results. Briquettes are round pallets of 3 to 4 grams compressed from prilled fertilizers and placed at 7-10cm depth some 5-10 cm next to the seed or plant. Compression of prilled urea results in briquettes that are firm and remain stable for years when sealed in airtight bags. Yet, plants need multiple nutrients and FERARI has been experimenting with briquettes made from different fertilizers including NPK, MOP, phosphate rock and the like. Not all these briquettes remain stable however, degrade in just a few days or weeks upon transport. We therefore like to identify adhesives that could be applied during the production of briquettes with favorable technical features.

  • Specify the required technical features for granules (hydroscopic, duration of storage, abrasiveness).
  • Identify and test adhesives to produce firm briquettes.
  • Identify simple methods for testing the technical characteristics of the briquettes.

 Methodology

This student will produce briquettes with a briquetting machine in Kumasi or Tamale and test their technical features. With support of the Agronomist of FERARI, the student shall be required to provide a clear study methodology including the determination of required technical features of the briquettes, dentification of adhesives, production and testing of the

Briquettes.

Output

At the end of the research, the student shall produce a report to FERARI on this research and extract the most important findings in a policy brief. The student would also be assisted to produce a research article that can be published in a scientific journal for our wider international audience.

Qualification

An MPhil/MSc student in chemistry or related studies. Applicant must have completed his/her course work and ready to start the research component. The applicant must demonstrate high analytical capabilities, be creative, pragmatic and flexible in finding solutions to problem. Other basic required skills include knowledge of statistical packages and methods (like STATA and Microsoft Excel).

 Duration

The duration for this assignment shall be seven (7) months. The student is expected to deliver specific activities within the following timeline (student can propose a revision to the timeline).

Activity Timeline
Proposal writing Weeks 1-4
Methodological and Literature review Weeks 5-8
Data collection Weeks 9-10
Data analysis Weeks 11-14
Report writing Weeks 15-22
Policy brief writing Week 26-27
End of activities Week 28

Closing Date : November 15, 2021

HOW TO APPLY

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