PhD scholarship in CO2 Capture by Absorption

Center for Energy Resources Engineering (CERE), at DTU Chemical Engineering, is Denmark’s leading research center in the areas of EOR, flow assurance, CCS and petroleum geoscience. With an excellent track record and international reputation CERE uniquely combines strong competences from several academic fields. Most of our many diverse research projects are conducted in collaboration with one or more members of the CERE Consortium – a group of 29 leading companies in the field.

In this project, a new solvent for carbon capture will be examined experimentally. We have well equipped laboratories for phase equilibrium measurements. Some new equipment will be developed by the PhD student in this project. The experimental data generated in this project will be used for thermodynamic modelling and possibly process simulation. Advanced software for determining parameters in a thermodynamic model (The Extended UNIQUAC model) has been developed and is available for this project.

Responsibilities and tasks
We are looking for a creative and enterprising person for a PhD project on carbon capture. The focus of this PhD project is to create a data-basis for a thermodynamic model suitable for simulation of absorption and desorption in CO2 capture using a solvent consisting of ammonia, MDEA, potassium carbonate, and water. Experimental vapor-liquid equilibrium data for systems containing the ammonia – MDEA pair and the potassium carbonate – MDEA pair have not previously been published in the open literature. The amount of data determined in this project should be sufficient for determining parameters in a thermodynamic model covering the relevant choice of process variables.

As a PhD student, you will be responsible for further developing and testing the experimental equipment. You will also be responsible for the experimental measurements, thermodynamic modelling, and the validation of the suggested solvent system: 

    Vapor-Liquid-Equilibrium (VLE). VLE measurements will be performed for the CO2-NH3-MDEA-H2O system and the CO2-K2CO3-MDEA-H2O system at 25 to 120 °C in the loading range relevant for CO2 capture. The work will entail measurement of at least four isotherms for each system. VLE for several CO2 loadings will be determined for each isotherm.Water activity measurements. Data for water activity are important for predicting the correct water evaporation in the absorber and in the desorber of a CO2 capture plant. Water activity measurements will be carried out at low temperatures by cryoscopy. Such data, measured at low temperature, also enables the thermodynamic model to determine water activity at high temperatures.Solid-Liquid-Equilibrium analysis. The limits for solids formation in the CO2-NH3-H2O system are influenced by the presence of MDEA. This influence will be determined by the visual synthetic method. This will enable the model to predict the risk of solids formation.Thermodynamic modeling. Model parameters will be determined for the CO2-NH3-K2CO3-MDEA-H2O system. The model will be based on data measured in this project and on all data available in the literature for subsystems such as the CO2-MDEA-H2O system.Evaluation of the solvent system. The examined solvent system will be evaluated by for example process simulation using AspenPlus.

As a part of the project, you need to travel to the United States of America and to other countries to present results at major scientific conferences. 

We hope you can to start soon. Not later than December 1, 2018.

Candidates should have a master’s degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in engineering.

Only applicants with a master’s degree in chemical engineering or physical chemistry will be considered. Applicants with experience in experimental work and analysis techniques will be preferred. Previous publications are also considered a benefit.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.   

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professors Kaj Thomsen and Philip L. Fosbøl.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.    

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Kaj Thomsen,, tel.: +45 4525 2860 or Philip L Fosbøl,, tel. +45 4525 2868.

You can read more about DTU Chemical Engineering at   

Please submit your online application no later than 15 August 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

    A letter motivating the application (cover letter)Curriculum vitaeGrade transcripts and BSc/MSc diplomaExcel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

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.

At the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering our research is built on the technological core subjects and engineering scientific disciplines. Our research covers separation processes, reaction engineering, dynamics and process regulations, process and facility planning, unit operations, heat transmission, fluid mechanics and applied thermodynamics. We work closely with industry to obtain research results that are applicable to industry and society.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 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.

Deadline: 15 August 2018
Unit: DTU Chemical Eng.
Read the job description and apply online

Post expires on Wednesday August 15th, 2018