One or More PhD Stipend(S) in Hydrothermal Liquefaction and Upgrading for Sustainable Fuel Production (14-17104) Aalborg University, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Energy Technology Denmark



At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Energy Technology one or more PhD stipend(s) are available within the general study programme "Energy Technology ”. The stipend is open for appointment from 01.01.2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The Department of Energy Technology is an expanding department covering most fields of Energy Technology, ranging from electrical energy (Power Systems, Power Electronics, Electrical Machines) to thermal energy including Energy Systems and Thermofluids but also mechatronic systems. The department has about 250 employees – of these, more than 100 are PhD students. State of the art laboratory facilities are available across the fields of research. The Department has a strong focus on collaborative research; as a consequence, there is extensive collaboration with other research and higher education institutions as well as industry. Aalborg University has recently been ranked the number 1 engineering university in Europe, number 8 in the world, by the US World News and Report Best Global Universities list. The position is offered in relation to the research programme "Biomass" and the PhD student will be part of the section for Thermofluids.




Within the framework of the Horizon 2020 funded HyFlexFuel project (grant agreement number 764734) one or more Phd stipend(s) are available. The HyFlexFuel project will assess the potential availability of feedstocks specifically suitable for HTL at European, national and local scale. Local feedstock supply chains will be analysed. HTL conversion will be optimised utilizing diverse feedstocks in a relevant environment at TRL 5. The currently less mature process step of catalytic hydrotreatment of bio-crude will be further developed through a parametric study of process conditions, targeted catalyst development and demonstrated on a continuous system. The energetic valorisation of the remaining soluble organics in the HTL water phase will be achieved through catalytic hydrothermal gasification (cHTG). Inorganic salts will be recovered from residual process streams to produce marketable fertilisers. Finally, the techno-economic and environmental performance of the entire HyFlexFuel production chain will be evaluated, focusing on social, technological, economic and environmental risks and potential benefits.

The PhD project will cover the entire value chain from HTL through catalytic upgrading to produce transport grade fuels, however with a main emphasis on the upgrading step. It is envisaged that experimental work using state of the art HTL and upgrading platforms as well as analytical instrumentation, combined with process modelling and theoretical studies, will form the platform for an improved understanding of the interdependency of the process steps as well as each step in detail. This will allow for overall process optimization as well as technoeconomic scenario modelling to design optimal process chains to reach transport grade fuels.
Applicants should document competences and proficiencies in thermochemical biorefining, chemical and/or process engineering, process modelling and optimization (Aspen plus or similar), refinery processes and biofuel production. Knowledge of hydrothermal liquefaction, catalytic upgrading or similar will be advantageous. Excellence in English, both oral and written, is required, as this is a multinational project. Good communication skills will also be advantageous.


The applicant must provide and upload a proper project description, which describes the applicants initial thoughts and ideas related to the specific project applied for. This includes a brief state-of-the-art (including short list of references), a time schedule and how the applicant intends to shed light on the project objectives. The project description should have a length of 4-5 pages.


You may obtain further information from Professor Lasse Rosendahl, Department of Energy Technology, phone: +45 9940 9263, email: concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.


PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the evaluation.


The qualifications of the applicant will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science will make a decision for allocating the stipend.


For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Helene Ulrich Pedersen, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, email:, phone: +45 9940 9803.


For more information of The Doctoral School of Engineering and Science:


The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.




Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of November 10, 2015 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance current circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.







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