Netherlands: PhD position in Flash Pyrolysis of Biomass at University of Twente.

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The Energy Technology research group of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Twente offers a PhD position within the research area of flash pyrolysis of biomass. The challenge is to produce high-quality biofuels from flash pyrolysis of torrefied biomass.

The project:
Biomass is the only green source to produce renewable liquid transportation fuels and in this way it can play a major role in fulfilling the sustainable energy goals of the governments. Biofuels produced from non-edible biomass are denoted by second generation biofuels in contrary with first generation biodiesel and bio-ethanol competing with the food chain. One way to produce oil from biomass is via flash pyrolysis, a fast process that heats up the biomass particles in a few seconds producing an oil vapor. However, the quality of the present pyrolysis oil is not good enough for applications in the existing infrastructure. In this project we would like to improve the quality of the oil by pretreatment of the biomass. The pretreatment consists of torrefaction of biomass. The influence of the torrefaction conditions and the biomass properties on the quality of the pyrolysis oil will be investigated in experimental set-ups. The research group has developed different facilities such as a bench-scale fluidized bed and a 30 kg/h pilot-plant for flash pyrolysis (

The successful applicant has completed a MSc degree in mechanical or chemical engineering, or in a closely related discipline. Experience and knowledge in the research field of flash pyrolysis of biomass is desirable. Also experience on a European university is an advantage. An interview and presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

Information and Application:
Questions regarding this position can be directed to G. Brem (Energy Technology, UT); email:g.brem(at) .
Candidates are invited to upload their application by using the application link below, before August 1st, 2013. Please include the following attachments in your application as a *single* PDF file:
· CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
· Title and abstract of your MSc thesis
· Research statement indicating your background and interests, and how it aligns with the current position (maximum 750 words).

Starting date:  preferably on short term.

Conditions of employment:
We offer a very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. As a PhD candidate you will be appointed in a full-time position (38 hours/week) for a period of maximum four years and at the end you should have completed your PhD thesis. The gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2062 in the first year to € 2638 in the final year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). In addition, the University of Twente offers attractive employment conditions. It is also possible to join one of the educational programs of the Twente Graduate School.

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over six faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research. The Faculty of Engineering Technology (CTW) is one of the six faculties of the University of Twente. CTW combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 300 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: MIRA, CTIT, and IGS.

Deadline: 31st July,2013

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