PhD project: Next Generation Methanol to Formaldehyde Selective Oxidation

DTU Chemical Eng.
Thursday 10 Aug 17

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Apply no later than 31 August 2017
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A PhD position is available within the above mentioned research project on development of new and fundamental understanding of methanol to formaldehyde oxidation catalysts. The position is funded by The Independent Research Council, the Technical University of Denmark and Haldor Topsøe A/S. The present PhD position aims at stabilizing the current iron-molybdate catalyst, developing new catalysts, structural characterization, kinetics and reaction mechanism studies.

The project will include the following activities:

  • Literature survey of selective oxidation of methanol to formaldehyde using iron molybdate and other catalyst systems.
  • Catalyst synthesis using different techniques, e.g. impregnation, hydrothermal synthesis and co-precipitation
  • Structural and chemical characterization using e.g. XAS, XRD, BET, Raman and electron microscopy.
  • Experimental investigation of the catalytic activity, kinetics and catalyst deactivation using in-house flow reactor setups.
  • Investigating the reaction mechanism using in-situ spectroscopy (e.g EXAFS and DRIFTS) and transient techniques.

Candidates should have a master's degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, physics or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering. Candidates with knowledge in catalyst synthesis and characterization will be preferred. Candidates should be interested in an experimentally based PhD project where most of the research time is spent in the laboratory, speak and write English fluently and have good communications skills.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Anker Degn Jensen.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. The specific project will be carried out in close collaboration with the company Haldor Topsøe A/S. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Anker Degn Jensen, +45 4525 2841, e-mail

You can read more about DTU Chemical Engineering here.

We must have your online application 31 August 2017. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.