Postdoc in Chemical Analysis and Environmental Investigation of Biochar and other Products from Biomass Thermochemical Conversion – DTU Chemical Engineering

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Postdoc in Chemical Analysis and Environmental Investigation of Biochar and other Products from Biomass Thermochemical Conversion – DTU Chemical Engineering
Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Job Description

The CHEC Research Centre at DTU Chemical Engineering is looking for a postdoc in the field of thermochemical conversion of biomass and analytical chemistry with focus on investigating environmental issues related to the production and use of biochar via slow pyrolysis. If you are looking for opportunities to establish your career as scientist in this area of research, you are curious, skilled and have experience within analytical chemistry and thermochemical conversion processes, this position might be an excellent opportunity for you.  At DTU you will break new ground at the forefront of innovation and technology development. 
Responsibilities and qualifications
Pyrolysis is a technology that allows for transforming various types of biomass into energy and stable carbon-rich biochar, which can be applied to soil and where it can persist for hundreds or even thousands of years, acting therefore as a carbon sink for climate change mitigation.
There is a lacking knowledge regarding the fate of potentially environmentally harmful substances, that either are part of the feedstock (e.g. heavy metals, persistent contaminants) or are formed during the pyrolysis process (e.g. aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins) and whether they are broken down into harmless components or get enriched and concentrated in certain products of the pyrolysis process (gaseous, liquid, or solid).
The focus of your work will be to produce biochar from various biomass feedstock using the institutes laboratory and pilot-scale pyrolysis reactors, collect relevant samples of feedstock, biochar, biooil and pyrolysis gas and characterize them with various analytical methods. 
The production of samples will be carried out at DTU Risø Campus, whereas the analytical work will be carried out mainly at DTU Lyngby Campus, in close cooperation with experts at DTU Chemical Engineering and DTU Sustain.
You are expected to have experience with construction and operation of pyrolysis setups and sampling of pyrolysis products, and analytical methods such as elemental analysis, gas physisorption, GC-MS or GC-FID of aromatic compounds (tar compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Any previous experience with analysis of contaminants (e.g. in environmental matrixes) is a plus. 
You will also supervise the work of students carrying out projects in the group (e.g. special courses, BSc, BEng and MSc thesis and PhD students) and teach in a 3-weeks summer course on Thermal Gasification and Sustainability.
Your primary tasks will include:

  • Operation of laboratory and pilot pyrolysis systems, including sampling of products
  • Physical and chemical characterization of biomass, biochar, biooils and gasses
  • Development and adjustment of analytical methods 
  • Design and performance of laboratory and pilot-scale experiments to advance the knowledge about the influence of process parameters on the products of thermochemical conversion and the fate of environmentally harmful substances
  • Supervision and teaching of students from BSc to PhD level

You will be part of the CHEC research group at DTU Chemical Engineering with long experience in design and operation of thermochemical conversion systems. You will be part of team with expertise on biomass thermochemical conversion and related analytical methods, which will support your work best as possible. However, you are expected to be able to work independently and adjust and develop experimental methods to fulfill the goals of the research project. The group has a close collaboration with industry and research organizations and it is expected that the successful candidate will be able to collaborate easily with project partners and other colleagues at the Department. 
As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). 
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 terms of employment 
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 position is full-time, and the period of employment is until 31 December 2026, with starting date 1 May 2024 (or as soon as possible thereafter).
The workplace will be both at DTU Lyngby campus and DTU Risø campus.
You can read more about career paths at DTU here .
Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Wolfgang Stelte ([email protected] ) and Giulia Ravenni ([email protected] ).
You can read more about the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at [email protected] .  
If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .
Application procedure 
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 7 April 2024 (23:59 Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD – in English)
  • List of publications 

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.
Within the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, the CHEC Research Centre focuses on chemical engineering principles applied in combustion, harmful emission control, gasification, catalysis, continuous production of pharmaceuticals and advanced measuring technology. Our primary expertise covers chemical reaction engineering and transport phenomena. CHEC has a solid industrial network and links to internationally recognized research organizations. Working in close cooperation with Danish as well as foreign research organizations and industry has always been a strong, ongoing theme in all of CHEC’s activities to provide research that has both international and practical impact.
Technology for people
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 mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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Job Info
  • Job Identification 3101
  • Job Category VIP B
  • Posting Date 03/15/2024, 08:01 AM
  • Apply Before 04/07/2024, 05:59 PM
  • Locations Søltofts Plads , Kgs Lyngby, 2800, DK

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    Søltofts Plads , Kgs Lyngby, 2800, DK

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