PhD scholarship: Biogas upgrading (CO2 capture) Simulation through Experimental Work and Thermodynamic Modelling

DTU Chemical Eng.
Monday 20 Feb 17

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Center for Energy Resources Engineering (CERE), Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) seeks a PhD to support our BioCO2 project. The proposed work will be conducted in collaboration between DTU Chemical Engineering and the project partners Union Engineering and Danish Gas Technology Center. The position is for a period of 3 years. 

Denmark has a great need to substitute our declining North Sea gas production by cleaner alternative fuels. We have a current potential to substitute 10% of our oil, gas, and coal usage by sustainable biogas. Biogas is produced from biological resources like manure and waste water sludge. Untreated, it typically contains 30% to 40% CO2 and impurities. Biogas can be upgraded to bio-methane which permits distribution through the natural gas grid. However, in this process CO2 is produced and emitted into the atmosphere.

The aim of your project will be to develop a simulation engine which will further be used in the BioCO2 project by your colleges for process design, simulation, and optimization. You will expand existing DTU software for this purpose.   

The development will include a new DTU solvent technology which has proven to give reduced energy consumption during solvent regeneration. In this technology maturation, you will apply an existing DTU solvent methodology. In order to perform the software development you will need to extend existing thermodynamic models and conduct measurements in the lab in relation to CO2 solvent properties (VLE, SLE, heat of absorption etc).

One of your final tasks will be to initialize Aspen Plus process simulation in close collaboration with Union Engineering and a colleague at DTU, who are experienced within the same field of technology.   

Your responsibilities will include sub-reporting for the funding agencies.

Objective and purpose of the project
The purpose of the project is to create and demonstrate a financially viable technology which will enable the upgrading of biogas to natural gas grid quality and simultaneously permit the reuse of the CO2 for other purposes, such as synthetic biofuel and food.

Project contents
The task will be to gain experience from existing thermodynamic and experimental knowhow at DTU. You will gain knowledge from other researchers working in the same field of technology development. You are expected to apply existing knowledge from DTU and succeed in developing a rate based model for process simulation.

Relation to other projects
You will be a member of the CERE research group. You will be working in close collaboration with Associate Professors Philip Fosbøl & Kaj Thomsen in your daily work. You can draw on years of experience and knowledge on CO2 capture technologies. The software basis you will develop further for this project is already available. Your project is one within a publicly funded framework called BioCO2.   

Candidates should have a Master’s degree in chemical engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the Master’s degree in engineering. There will be a focus on your experience with programming, thermodynamics, and chemical property measurements in the lab - and on the number of publications you have created.   

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.    

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professors Philip L. Fosbøl, Kaj Thomsen, and Center Coordinator Hanne P. Andersen.   

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.   

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Philip Fosbøl,  

You can read more about DTU Chemical Engineering on  

Please submit your online application no later than 1 May 2017. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include: 

  • A letter describing why your skills fit this project (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
  • Any relevant sections of publications which you find important to the application (max 20 pages)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their Master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.