Postdoc position on “Electrochemical Conversion of Biomass Towards Green Artificial Sugars”

Updated: about 2 hours ago
Deadline: 15 Jul 2024

  • Vacancies
  • Postdoc position on “Electrochemical Conversion of Biomass Towards Green Artificial Sugars”

  • Key takeaways

    Are you passionate about electrochemical conversion processes and carbon circularity? We offer a challenging postdoc position in the PCS group in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Twente & MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, in collaboration with industrial partners Nobian Industrial Chemicals B.V. & BTG Biomass Tech. Group B.V.

    Project: “Steering Formose Selectivity through Electrochemical Reduction of Aldehydes: Towards Conversion of Biomass to Green Artificial Sugars – FORESEE

    Fuels and chemicals derived from renewable resources are desirable for both economic and environmental reasons, to close the carbon cycle and limit further accumulation of atmospheric CO2.

    In this project, we will develop an electrochemical green route to convert biomass into artificial sugars or sugar alcohols, as useful platform chemicals for biomanufacturing. Our research consortium, composed of the University of Twente, Nobian Industrial Chemicals B.V. and BTG Biomass Tech, will investigate a new “electrochemically steered” formose-like process, based on the selective hydrogenation of oxygenated organic compounds derived from biomass.

    The research will deal with investigating the effect of electrochemical conditions, e.g., electrolyte pH, applied potential and current density, and electrode material and surface properties, on rate, selectivity and mechanistic aspects of the condensation and polymerization of aldehyde and alcohol building blocks.

    As project goal, we aim at identifying and optimizing electrochemical process conditions to produce high concentrations (>20 wt%) of monomeric, well-identified compounds, e.g., acids, monosaccharides and / or polyols.

    Information and application

    Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below and include:

    • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, motivations to apply for this position. Applicants with no knowledge of and hands-on experience on electrochemistry, electrochemical synthesis, electrocatalysis, will not be considered.
    • A Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages A4), including education and research experience, and references. Please attach a list of publications and conference talks separately.

    For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact (Marco Altomare: [email protected])

    About the department

    The PCS group offers an international environment, with a multidisciplinary research agenda, including electrochemistry and electrocatalysis, materials science and nanotechnology, photocatalysis, photo-electrochemistry, photothermal catalysis and cutting edge in-situ spectroscopy techniques. The research program is aimed at the development of innovative materials and concepts for electrocatalytic and photocatalytic reactions with high efficiency. Industrial chemistry is included in the research portfolio, with various collaboration with industrial partners.

    The PCS group is part of the Department of Chemical Engineering and of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Twente ( The research activities of the PCS group are an integral part of the ambitions of the MESA+ Institute ( to contribute to the energy transition of The Netherlands and Europe, with focus on the design, development and optimization of catalytic materials, interfaces and devices

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

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