PhD Scholarship Position in Chemical-looping Gasification of Biomass

A PhD scholarship in mechanical engineering is available at Chalmers University of Technology. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for five years in Sweden. Applications are welcome before November 17, 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 consists of about 250 employees.

Information about the research

The Ph.D student will work within a research group dedicated to the development and industrial implementation of chemical-looping technologies. The group was founded in the late 1990’s and is world leading in the development of this family of technologies, which includes methods for combustion with inherent carbon dioxide capture and methods for production of hydrogen, syngas and other chemical products.

The research aims at developing a new gasification technology, chemical-looping gasification (CLG) of biomass waste or residues. CLG is built around the same principles as indirect gasification, with two interconnected fluidized beds - air reactor and fuel reactor/gasifier - but uses an oxygen carrier, instead of sand, as bed material. This could have important advantages as compared to normal indirect gasification: i) a more oxidizing environment and the presence of oxygen carriers in the gasifier reduces tar formation, and ii) the cost of gas cleaning is reduced, as essentially all the fuel is converted in the fuel reactor, and none in the air reactor, thus reducing the total volume of gas needing clean-up. The product gas leaving the fuel reactor will be a mixture of mainly CO, H2, H2O and CO2. If biomass is used as fuel and the produced CO2 is stored, e.g. underground, there will be a net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere ("negative emissions"). The technology thus has the potential to combine biofuel production with negative emissions, which makes it highly interesting.

The cornerstone in a chemical-looping process is the oxygen carrier. The project focus is the use of oxygen-carrier materials based on oxides of Fe and Mn, relevant for biomass chemical-looping.

+ Establishing the viability of CLG using several continuous CLG units, up to 100 kWth.

+ Determination of the functionality of several promising oxygen carrier materials at CLG conditions.

+ Determination of the fate of important condensable tar species using selected oxygen carrier particles.

Major responsibilities

Your main responsibility as a Ph.D. student is to pursue your own scientific studies and to develop your abilities and knowledge within the research fields covered by the project. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally at scientific conferences and in written journal articles.

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.


By the starting date, the applicant should have a Master in a relevant subject, such as chemical engineering, power engineering, mechanical engineering, etc. Knowledge about chemical-looping combustion and fluidization - both experimental and theoretical - is a merit.

To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master’s level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in a relevant field.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in Swedish and English. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180571 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)


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 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?

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: 17th of November 2018

Carl Linderholm, Energy Technology,, +46 31 772 1443


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