PhD Student Position in Thermochemical Plastic Recycling

Chalmers University of Technology is offering PhD position. All students regardless of citizenship are eligible to apply. Applicants should apply before October 14, 2018.

The Department of Space, Earth and Environment contains five divisions, with research and education spanning from global challenges related to sustainability and energy supply to astronomy and space sciences. The department is host to two major infrastructures, Onsala Space Observatory and Chalmers Power Central, and consist of about 250 employees.

Information about the research/the division/the project

At the Division of Energy Technology we conduct research and offer education in mainly energy technologies and energy systems. Our research focuses on three main areas: i) combustion, gasification and cracking of solid fuels, ii) technologies for carbon dioxide capture, iii) energy system analysis.

A considerable part of our research is experimental and for this we have built up and are maintaining unique experimental facilities which allow for cutting edge fuel conversion research in large scale. Focus is on methods for large-scale conversion of biomass and waste to chemicals, fuels, power and heat. As the demand in carbon containing products exceeds the available renewable sources (biomass) waste is an important feedstock to recycle carbon and to close material loops. The challenge in this project is to develop a thermochemical process based on collected plastic waste fractions that is insensitive to impurities, coking and contamination but can supply feedstock of high quality for chemical clusters.this is of importance as plastic, despite significant efforts, is only recycled to less than 40% today with the recycled material not even reaching the same quality as the virgin plastic. In contrast, thermochemical steam cracking is an alternative to recycle plastics waste and to produce the feedstock for new plastic products of highest quality. Suitable reactor systems arevbased on fluidized bed technology for its heat transfer properties and robustness and initial trials at the Chalmers pilot demonstrate the potential.

Major responsibilities

We are now looking for talented and motivated PhD students that can contribute to this endeavour. You will be working in a creative and experienced research group that is world leading in its field, has extensive experience of practical research and access to unique experimental infrastructure.

The work will involve a variety of aspects related to the thermo-chemical polymer recycling as for example: reaction chemistry, catalysis, material characterization, thermodynamic modelling, waste management. Part of the research will be connected to experimental research campaigns in Chalmers semi-commercial research gasifier. The ultimate goal of the research is to contribute to the development of technology capable of providing a significant amount of raw material for a chemical cluster.

Your major responsibilities are to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing, both in Swedish and in English. The position generally also includes teaching on Chalmers’ undergraduate level or performing other duties corresponding to 20 per cent of working hours.

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.


The PhD-candidate should have an education on MSc level in Chemical Engineering or equivalent. A master thesis, relevant master courses and experience in fluidized bed technology, solid fuel conversion, hydrocarbon chemistry, waste handling and treatment or reaction modelling are meritorious. To be successful you need to be highly motivated, have a problem-solving ability, and enjoy working both by yourself as in a team, cooperating with others.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in Swedish and English. If Swedish is not your native language, you should be able to teach in Swedish after two years. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180480 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
- CV
- Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
- Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
- 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself, your interest in the topic and present your qualifications.
- Previous research fields and main research results.
- Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:
- Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.
- Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 14 October, 2018

For questions, please contact:

Martin Seemann, Energiteknik,, +46 (031) – 772 1480


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