PhD Position within the Conversion of Biomass and Plastic Wastes

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 02 Sep 2021

About the position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Chemical Engineering within volatilizing biomass and plastic wastes supported by the Norwegian Research Council, EU, and industries.

It aims to ground-breaking research for developing new technologies and catalysts for the conversion of biomass and plastic wastes to fuels and chemicals.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.  

You will report to your supervisor.

The Project

Copyrolysis of biomass and plastic wastes to stabilized bio-oils suitable for coprocessing in refinery 

The main objective of the project is to develop co-pyrolysis of biomass and plastic wastes to stabilized bio-oils with low oxygen contents, which can be directly applied to co-processing in a refinery, through developing cost-efficient catalysts for effective catalytic co-pyrolysis and optimizing the catalysts and feedstocks, and improve the operability in co-processing in the refinery. The catalytic (co)pyrolysis of biomass, plastic wastes, and their mixtures will be studied in small pilot plants.  The project will be carried out in the Norwegian Center for Environment-friendly energy research, biomass for fuels. 

Duties of the position

  • Development of catalysts: including catalyst preparation, characterization and characterization, testing catalysts in pyrolysis of biomass, plastic wastes an their mixtures
  • Analyze the gas and liquid products   
  • Design experiments and optimize the catalysts and pyrolysis conditions to optimize the yield and quality of boioils
  • Contribute to process design and evaluation 
  • Report to team and stakeholders

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in in chemical engineering and chemistry or related fields.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level 
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program.

Specific selection criteria

  • You must have strong experimental skills in the laboratory including
    • Good knowledge and experimental skill of biomass conversion 
    • Good knowledge and experimental skill of product analysis
    • Good knowledge and experimental skill of catalysts preparation

The positions require good communication skills in English, both written and spoken.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Good knowledge and experimental skill of characterization are considered as an advantage.
  • Willingness to take part in teaching activities of the department of chemical engineering

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants  and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Personal characteristics

The candidates must:

  • Be able to work independently and take responsibility for the progress and quality of projects.
  • Have enthusiasm for working in collaboration in the Bio4Fuel center and EU project.
  • Have well-established skills to work in a team.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with the possibility of a further 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department of Chemical Engineering.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Chemical Engineering ( ) within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include:

  • Motivation letter or statement of purpose
  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted. 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position. 
  • Contact information of three referees 
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work 

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here . If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

In accordance with The Public Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Prof De Chen (Department of Chemical Engineering), telephone (+47) 73 59 31 49, email .

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Nina Sandberg (Department of Chemical Engineering), e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI) .

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number NV-sak 92/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 02.09.2021

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Chemical Engineering 

We take chemistry from laboratory scale to industrial production. This demands a wide range of knowledge, from molecular processes and nanotechnology to building and operation of large processing plants. We educate graduates for some of Norway's most important industries. The Department of Chemical Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.  

Deadline 2nd September 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen, Trondheim

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