PhD scholarship in Optimization of Solvents for Biogas Upgrading and Post-Combustion Capture

Tuesday 28 Jul 20

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Center for Energy Resources Engineering (CERE), Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) seeks a PhD to support our BioCO2 project. The proposed work will be conducted in collaboration between DTU Chemical Engineering and the project partners: Union Engineering and Danish Gas Technology Center. The position is for a period of 3 years.

Denmark has a great need to substitute our declining North Sea gas production by cleaner alternative fuels. We have a current potential to substitute 10% of our oil, gas, and coal usage by sustainable biogas. Biogas is produced from biological resources like manure and wastewater sludge. Untreated, it typically contains 30% to 40% CO2 and impurities. Biogas can be upgraded to bio-methane, which permits distribution through the natural gas grid. However, in this process CO2 is produced and emitted into the atmosphere.

Responsibilities and tasks
The aim of your project will be to conduct pilot CO2 absorption campaigns as part of the BioCO2 project. The pilot campaigns will include the introduction of include a new DTU solvent technology, which has proven to give reduced energy consumption during solvent regeneration.

The experimental campaigns will be conducted on a newly constructed mobile pilot plant, called mobile test unit (MTU). The MTU will be used to upgrade biogas from industrial production sites in different locations in Denmark.

In collaboration with colleagues, the experimental data will be used for validation of extended thermodynamic and kinetic models. This will allow for optimization of both process, composition of solvent and choice of solvent technology.

One of your final tasks will be to modify the MTU so that it is suitable for post-combustion capture. The modifications are to be made within the project in collaboration with industry.

Your responsibilities will include sub-reporting for the funding agencies.

Objective and purpose of the project
The purpose of the project is to create and demonstrate a financially viable technology, which will enable the upgrading of biogas to natural gas grid quality and simultaneously permit the reuse of the CO2 for other purposes, such as synthetic biofuel and food.

Project contents
The task will be to gain experience from existing experimental knowhow at DTU. You will gain knowledge from other researchers working in the same field of technology development. You are expected to apply existing knowledge from DTU and succeed in performing pilot scale experimental campaigns at industrial sites.

Relation to other projects
You will be a member of the CERE research group. You will be working in close collaboration with Associate Professors Philip Fosbøl in your daily work. You can draw on years of experience and knowledge on CO2 capture technologies. Your project is one within a publicly funded framework called BioCO2.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. There will be a focus on your experience with programming, measurements of reaction kinetics and physical properties in the lab and absorption in pilot scale - and on the number of publications, you have created.

The candidate should have experimental experience from previous or on-going CO2-capture. International collaboration will be part of the PhD scholarship and therefore, the candidate should have experience from international research projects.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Philip L. Fosbøl.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Philip Fosbøl,

ou can read more about DTU Chemical Engineering on

Please submit your online application no later than 12 August 2020 (local time). To apply, please open the link "Apply online" and fill out the online application form. Applications must be submitted in English as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. 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)
  • Any relevant sections of publications which you find important to the application (max 20 pages)

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

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

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DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.