Two PhD scholarships in Plasma-assisted catalytic conversions to value added chemicals

Updated: about 1 month ago

The CHEC research group at the Department of Chemical Engineering carries out research on catalysis and high temperature processes such as combustion, gasification and pyrolysis.

In the future, production of chemicals will likely change from large central plants using fossil fuels both as energy input and feedstock, to a sustainable production based on solar and wind power and sustainable carbon sources. A plasma can be generated by applying an electric field of sufficient magnitude and exploited to drive chemical reactions. The objective of the two PhD projects are to investigate and evaluate the potential of a non-thermal plasma combined with catalysis in the conversion of sugars and other biomass constituents (Project 1) and carbon dioxide and methane (Project 2) to value added chemicals. The project involves development and characterization of heterogeneous catalysts for the reactions, experimental investigations, characterization of the reaction products and assessment of the potential of the process.

Both projects involve tight collaboration with the company Haldor Topsøe A/S.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The objectives of PhD project 1 related to conversion of sugars and biomass constituents are:

  • Establish an experimental setup for non-thermal plasma conversion in liquid phase.
  • Experimental investigation and optimization of non-thermal plasma assisted conversion sugars and other biomass derived feedstock in both solid and liquid phase.
  • Develop and test novel catalysts for the liquid based process.
  • Evaluate the potential of the optimized process for different feedstocks.

The objectives of PhD project 2 related to conversion of carbon dioxide and methane are:

  • Modify an existing experimental setup for non-thermal plasma conversion in gas phase reactions to allow for operation at elevated temperature.
  • Experimental investigation and optimization of non-thermal plasma assisted conversion of carbon dioxide and methane.
  • Develop and test novel catalysts for the reactions.
  • Development of kinetic models for the reactions including the effect of the plasma and catalysts
  • Evaluate the potential of the optimized processes.

Candidates should 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.

Preference will be given to candidates with a master's degree in chemical engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

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 by Professor Anker Degn Jensen.

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.

The workplace will be DTU Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Prof. Anker Degn Jensen (+45 45 25 28 41, email:

You can read more about Department of 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 .

Please submit your online application no later than 3 March 2021(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
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )

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.

The CHEC Research Centre at DTU Chemical Engineering is internationally recognised for research in catalysis, combustion, gasification, pyrolysis and emission control.

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 12,000 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.

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