HECO2-Butterfly and Saturn projects – Post-Doctoral position (f/m/x) : “Development of a multi-block modeling tool for the simulation of CO2 Purification Units (CPU)”

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 31 Oct 2023 - 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)

14 Sep 2023
Job Information

Université de Mons (UMONS)

Chemical and Materials Science Department
Research Field

Engineering » Chemical engineering
Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)
Established Researcher (R3)

Application Deadline

31 Oct 2023 - 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description


The Post-Doctoral works will be carried out in the context of the HECO2-Butterfly and HECO2-Saturn projects at the Faculty of Engineering (FPMs) of UMONS. These projects are funded by the Recovery and Resilience plan managed by the Walloon Region in Belgium and concerns the thematic of CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization and/or Storage).

More precisely, the Butterfly and Saturn projects are included in the Axis 5 of the HECO2 project (managed by the lime producer Carmeuse and by the steel producer APERAM respectively), related to CO2 capture, which constitutes the ultimate and complementary brick of the other axes of the project, with the objective of limiting direct and unavoidable emissions from industrial processes. Indeed, while the other axes focus on the substitution of fossil energy (e.g. axis 1 on electrification of processes, axis 4 on the substitution of natural gas by green hydrogen) or on the production of decarbonated hydrogen (axis 2 and axis 3), the projects of axis 5 deal with so-called "Hard-to-Abate" emissions, which are not linked to the combustion of fossil fuels.

The Butterfly project aims at developing a new innovative technical concept applicable to “Parallel Flow Regenerative” (PFR) lime kilns allowing to concentrate the CO2 in the flue gas in order to make it compatible for transportation, sequestration, or its use/conversion. This approach is highlighted as mandatory by the IPCC experts in order to limit CO2 emissions from high CO2 emitters (steel industry, lime production, cement industry, ...) and therefore to contribute to the fight against climate change.

Included in the Butterfly project and linked to the Saturn one, the Post-Doc will focus on a very important step of the entire CCUS process chain, namely the CO2 Purification Unit (CPU) .

Area of the proposed research:

UMONS is responsible of the works packages related to CO2 purification . The purification technologies consist of a chain of different operations that could include: VSA/PSA/TSA units, membranes, De-SOx/NOx processes, cold-box unit, cryogenic distillation, distillation/rectification operations, cooling/heating, compressions, flash separations, mixing/decantation, condensation/drying/evaporation, etc. Some operations being also potentially needed for the removal of minor components (Hg, COS, H2 S, HCN, heavy metals).

The challenge is to select the optimal combination of modular elements according to input and output specifications.

More precisely, UMONS is in charge of the development of the models of the various unit operations of the CO2 purification unit and their integration in a "multi-block" scheme allowing an optimization of the CPU, its exploitation in order to perform techno-economic analyses (CAPEX/OPEX estimations) and to define the best CPU technical options considering the truck or pipeline transportation specifications established by the gas transport operator.

The Post-Doc will work on the following tasks:

  • keeping a detailed and updated bibliographic review on the CO2 purification processes, including techno-economic studies, and identification of the relevant unit operations included in the CPU;
  • modeling and simulations (using Aspen Plus, Hysys, Adsorption or any needed software) of the different unit operations constitutive of CPU;
  • integration of the different modeling in a “multi-block” CPU simulation tool;
  • sensitivity analysis of the CPU to different factors such as:

- variation of the incoming flow rate (intermittence);

- variation in the concentration of the incoming stream (the lime kiln can operate in total or partial oxyfuel);

- final specifications (depending on the chosen transport mode, gaseous CO2 for pipeline or liquefied CO2 for truck transportation).

  • techno-economic analyses (TEA) to optimize the process.

During the Post-Doctoral works, several exchanges will be necessary with internal collaborators (PhD students, post-docs, etc.) and also with external collaborators such as members of the HECO2 consortiums, CPU technology providers, other universities or research organisms, etc.

Research Field
Education Level
PhD or equivalent

Research Field
Education Level
PhD or equivalent


Education: Candidates must hold a PhD degree in Chemical engineering/Chemistry/Engineering Sciences or fields (such as industrial chemistry, mechanical/ environmental engineering, …) with a strong interest in chemistry, energy, process engineering and optimization.

Languages: A good knowledge of English is required, both oral and written; a knowledge of French would be an asset.

Other skills: Interest and experience with simulation/modeling tools (such as Aspen Plus, Hysys, Adsorption, gPROMS, etc.) is mandatory . Writing skills, good interpersonal and communication skills, rigor and conciseness will be highly appreciated.



Additional Information

The candidate will be hosted in a nice working environment under a challenging job at a dynamic and ambitious University, and in the context of a multi-partners project. Salaries are in accordance with the internal University agreement.

The Post-Doc is expected to start as soon as possible in 2023 for a duration of 18 months.

Selection process

Applications (CV + motivation letter showing the adequacy with the requested profile + eventual letters of recommendation) should be sent by email to both :

Prof. Guy DE WEIRELD: guy.deweireld@umons.ac.be ; +32(0)65/37.42.03  

Prof. Diane THOMAS: diane.thomas@umons.ac.be ; +32(0)65/37.44.04

Dr Lionel DUBOIS: lionel.dubois@umons.ac.be  ; +32(0)65/37.50.54


Chemical and Materials Science Department

Faculty of Engineering – University of Mons (UMONS)

20, Place du Parc

7000 Mons – Belgium


After a first selection based on the CV, the recruitment procedure will include minimum two interviews comprising a first remote interview by Microsoft Teams or phone, and a second interview (ideally in live at UMONS) including a short presentation by the candidate.

Website for additional job details


Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Postal Code
20, Place du Parc

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Place du Parc, 20
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