PhD scholarship in Electroscrubbing for Biogas Cleaning; Experiments and Model Construction

onsdag 20 maj 20

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Frist 14. juni 2020
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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 BE-Clean project. The proposed work will be conducted in collaboration between DTU Chemical Engineering and the project partners Union Engineering/Pentair, Elplatek and Danish Gas Technology Center.

Desulfurization is a costly process for the biogas industry. In the BE-Clean project, we will develop a new and better method for removing hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from biogas. The impurities in the biogas will be removed using only electricity. This is a huge advantage, as no chemicals are used, no waste is generated and no left over oxygen is left in the biogas. The pollutant is removed in a gas scrubber by an oxidizing chemical species that is regenerated electrochemically. H2S is oxidized to elemental sulfur and filtered from the electrolyte. The process is called electroscrubbing.

Electroscrubbing is a minor subject within the scientific community. Currently, the amount of research into electroscrubbing is very low. Initial experiments made during earlier projects indicate that the electroscrubbing process has properties that varies drastically from regular scrubbing systems.

Power-to-X combined with Carbon Capture and Utilization will play an important role in the green energy transition. High-quality carbon sources are required for catalytic utilization processes. Biogas is a carbon source, but of low quality due to many impurities. In order to make biogas a high quality carbon source, a new cleaning process is essential. 

Responsibilities and tasks
The aim of your project will be to investigate the electroscrubbing process. You develop a model based on existing knowledge (using extended UNIQUAC), to predict how the process operates.

The model will increase the understanding of how the active species of the electrolyte interact with the gaseous components. The model will ultimately be used to construct a full scale version of the electroscrubber. 

Test facilities are ready for experiments during the PhD These facilities allow for experimental verification and investigation of the model both in the laboratory and in the real world.

Your responsibilities will be the following:

  • Investigate the removal efficiency of various pollutants, both theoretical and experimental
  • Develop and test a thermodynamic model for the various electrolytes
  • Operate and develop an already existing platform for experimental investigations
  • Write several scientific publications within the subject
  • Your work will contribute to the construction of a first-of-a-kind full scale electroscrubber
  • You will engage in discussions with the industry in order to develop the process
  • You will be a part of a newly build, state-of-the-art laboratory to handle the poisonous gasses
  • You will have the possibility to test the electroscrubbing process outside the laboratory in a mobile test-unit, most likely in locations such as USA, Spain and the Netherlands
  • You will be central part of a large EUDP project, where your work and your results will be used to make the project a success
To summarize, please apply if you are interested in: 
  • Operating and developing a new gas cleaning pilot plant
  • Finding new applications for the process, both in the laboratory and on-location
  • Play an important role in communication of results to industry and the public, through presentations and publications
  • A master's degree in chemical engineering (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.
  • Practical skills are expected with the ability of building up experimental gas flow and reactor systems
  • Relevant experience with qualitative and quantitative analysis of gases – theoretically and practically
The following soft skills are also important: 
  • You are good at taking initiative and follow through on tasks
  • Holistic approach – making sure a solution is all-round applicable in a system
  • You are comfortable with and enjoy working in a small group having a multitude of different tasks on hand simultaneously
  • Excellent communication skills – conveying knowledge and experience
  • You are open and direct – asking straight questions, giving straight answers
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 as soon as possible after the application date.

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 L. Fosbøl, tel.: +45 4525 2868. 

You can read more about the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and the Center for Energy Resources Engineering at and

Please submit your online application no later than 14 June 2020 (23:59 local time)
Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 
  • A letter of motivation (cover letter), max 2 pages
  • Curriculum vitae (including publication list and conference list)
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • Any additional written material which shows your skills on writing publications (thesis, publication, book contribution etc).
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.

CERE is an independent, university based, research unit with more than 30 years of expertise in the field of energy resources. The CERE co-workers are a mix of internationally renowned scientists and the sharpest young talents from different scientific communities around the group. The research center unites experience with unique talent and educates tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The education and training of MSc and doctoral students are some of the most important aspects of CERE’s activities. 

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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.