PhD scholarship in Chemical and Catalytic Conversion of Lignin to Organic Coatings – DTU Chemical Engineering

Updated: 2 months ago

In the coatings industry, there is an increasing demand for sustainable production, leading the research towards biomass-based materials for polymers, to substitute fossil-derived raw materials. Lignin is the largest natural source of aromatics, yet only 2% of the produced lignin in the pulp and paper industry is used to produce value-added products.

We offer you a unique opportunity to join DTUs Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering in the development and study of processes for conversion of industrial waste lignin into well-defined aromatic compounds that can replace fossil-based aromatics in the organic binders of industrial and maritime coatings. 

Your specific tasks will include a literature study, experimental investigations of lignin dissolution, depolymerization and stabilization, collaboration with other PhD students and researchers for chemical functionalization of lignin products as well as binder and coatings formulation and property evaluation. Possible tasks may include developments towards continues processes by studying reaction kinetics and mass transport limitations. 

Responsibilities and qualifications
You are a high performing newly graduated graduate or you might have experience from industry and a strong desire to turn towards research. We expect you to be able to handle and have an interest in experimental laboratory and formulation work. Experience in thermochemical conversion of biomass and/or experimental heterogeneous catalysis will be an advantage. Experience with coatings may be an advantage.

You are very ambitious and visionary and thrive on turning exiting challenges into solutions based on curiosity and an open mind for entering new paths when necessary. You have a natural flair for driving things forward on you own, and you like to create results based on knowledge sharing and positive teamwork.

Your background is in chemical engineering, chemistry, or similar. You must 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.

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 DTU's rules for the PhD education .

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Assoc. Prof. Martin Høj, Assoc. Prof. Hao Wu and Prof. Kim Dam-Johansen.

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 Assoc. Prof. Martin Høj: +45 4525 2842, e-mail .

You can read more about DTU Chemical Engineering at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark . Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar ” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 17 April 2023 (Danish 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 motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

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

Applications 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.

The Hempel Foundation Coatings Science and Technology Centre (CoaST) was established at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, as per 1 January 2017, based on a generous donation by the Hempel Foundation. Presently, our group consists of approximately 30 PhD students, but, all included, we count around 55 people. With more than 12 nationalities, our working environment is international and intercultural. Our working language is English.

The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at DTU is a leader in innovative teaching and research, built on core technical subjects and engineering scientific disciplines. The teaching and research covers separation processes, reaction engineering, dynamics and process regulation, process and facility planning, unit operations, heat transmission, fluid mechanics and applied thermodynamics. The Department enjoys very close relations with international partners, and especially a wide range of industrial companies.   

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 vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision 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.

View or Apply

Similar Positions