PhD project in Catalytic Cracking of Sugars for Production of Chemicals

DTU Chemical Eng.
Friday 11 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 improved understanding and optimization of the catalytic cracking of sugars to chemicals and chemical intermediates. The position is funded by Innovation Fund Denmark, the Technical University of Denmark and Haldor Topsøe A/S, and is part of a larger project with the title ‘Oxycrack’ with the overall aim to bring the sugar cracking process close to commercialization.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project will include the following activities:

  • Literature survey of the thermal catalytic cracking of sugars
  • Experimental investigation of the influence of process conditions, such as temperature, heating rate, sugar concentration and type of catalyst, on the yields of relevant products using a small scale reactor setup
  • Experimental investigation of the influence of sugar impurities on the yields of relevant product and process operation
  • Development of a mechanistic model of the sugar cracking process
  • Participation in measurement campaigns on a pilot scale reactor

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, DTU and Dr. Esben Taarning, Haldor Topsøe A/S.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. 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, tel: +45 4525 2841, e-mail

You can read more about DTU Chemical Engineering here.

We must have your online application August 31, 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 10,360 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.