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PhD position on Scaling up Natural Convection Circulation driven e-Methanol synthesis

Are you passionate about the energy transition?
We offer a challenging, all-round PhD position at the University of Twente in the Chemical Engineering Department

Contribute to the technology development and scaling up of a novel, natural convection driven reactor for producing e-Methanol from CO2 and H2. Heat transfer, natural convection, experiments and CFD and involvement in a unique 100 kg/h e-Methanol demonstration project are part of the scope.

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    Monica Morales Masis

Key takeaways

  • Hours
    38 - 40 hr.
  • Salary indication
    Salary gross/monthly
    based on full-time
    € 2,770 - € 3,539
  • Deadline
    19 Jul 2024

Converting CO2 with H2 into e-Methanol is an attractive route to store renewable energy. Moreover the methanol produced is a renewable fuel and versatile platform molecule. The methanol synthesis starting from CO2 is an equilibrium reaction with low single pass conversion, requiring significant gas recycling. In the LOGIC-reactor concept developed at the UT, this gas recycling is done under natural convection circulation conditions, thus without recycle compressor.

The natural convection circulation concept is charmingly simple and attractive, but intrinsically complex. Heat integration is e.g. required for autothermal operation, but may affect gas circulation. Other complicating factors include the changing gas composition, heat losses and dynamic start-up/shut down behavior in view of intermittent available renewable energy. Moreover, the impact of the scale of operation is a crucial aspect for further optimization and deployment of the technology.

This project aims to arrive at developing (validated) models and scaling rules for e-Methanol production based on above reactor concept. The activities comprise CFD modelling, experimental work on (to be designed) lab units to study flow and heat transfer and data analysis based on  the large scale demonstration unit. The latter is a novel and unique-, dynamic operated, e-Methanol process based on a 1 MWe electrolyser for green H2 production and is developed with project partners HyGear and HoSt.

Focus is on (i) predictability and stability of natural circulation flow rate; (ii) predictability of heat transfer under natural convection circulation conditions; (iii) thermal energy management (incl. heat losses to environment) under dynamic operation and (iv) system integration.

Your profile

  • You have a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, (Applied) Physics or Mechanical Engineering.
  • You are an enthusiastic and highly motivated researcher, with interest in fluid dynamics and heat transfer and (reactor) modelling.
  • Strong in analytical thinking.
  • Experience in both experimental research and modelling (preferably including CFD).
  • High degree of responsibility and independence, while being able to collaborate with colleagues, researchers and technical staff and with project partners.
  • You have a creative mindset, professional attitude and excellent analytical and communication skills.
  • You have a great team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment.
  • You are a problem solver, dedicated to make things a success, with a positive, optimistic attitude.

Our offer

  • A full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, and the flexibility to work (partially) from home.
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU).
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2770 (first year) to € 3539,- (fourth year).
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme.
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus.
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision.

Information and application

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before 19-07-2024,  and include:

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About the department

The Sustainable Process Technology (SPT) group is part of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Twente. We conduct experimental and theoretical research in the areas of biomass conversion, affinity separations, plastic recycling, water, and CO2 capture and conversion. We combine our expertise in different disciplines (process design, chemistry, catalysis, modelling, engineering) to contribute to the development of sustainable chemical- and energy related processes.

About the organisation

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

Want to know more?

Brilman, D.W.F. (Wim)

Brilman, D.W.F. (Wim)
Full Professor

Brilman, D.W.F. (Wim)
Full Professor

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Wim for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.

How to apply

Step 1

When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

Apply now

Step 2

The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

Step 3

1st interview.
The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

Step 4

2nd interview.
In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

Step 5

The offer.
If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer. If applicable, we will sign you up for screening.

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About the TNW Faculty

Curious about what the Faculty of Science and Technology (TNW) stands for? Check out the Science and Technology website for more information.

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