PhD student position in Hydrodeoxygenation catalysis for production of sustainable fuels

Chalmers University of Technology


PhD student position in Hydrodeoxygenation catalysis for production of sustainable fuels

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is the largest department at Chalmers with research ranging from the most fundamental level to a level close to application in industry and society. The research activities reach from DNA-research and biomaterials to high temperature corrosion, catalysis and recycling. The Department is also heavily committed to teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, as well as postgraduate level in these areas.


Health, natural resources, sustainable energy and materials are some of our lead words and our vision is “Through curiosity and knowledge towards a sustainable world”.


We have approximately 300 employees, divided into four research and one administrative division. We are situated at campus Johanneberg in the middle of Gothenburg.

Information about the research/the project/the division

This PhD student position is within the Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK), which is an interdisciplinary research centre for heterogeneous catalysis at Chalmers. We contribute to a sustainable energy and transport system with new catalytic technology. The main activities are focused on energy conversion and emission control and integrated with the research at the departments of Physics, and Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The projects are conducted in collaboration with the member companies AB Volvo, ECAPS AB, Johnson Matthey AB, Preem AB, Scania CV AB, Umicore Denmark ApS and Volvo Car Corporation AB.


The position will be located at the division of Chemical Engineering at the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. We have a wide range of experience and work both experimentally and with modelling, and we have also a long tradition of working with both fundamental scientific questions and applied problems together with industry.


This position is focused on building knowledge for efficient catalytic refining of pyrolysis oils to fuel components. Pyrolysis oils produced from forestry residues can be an important feedstock for the production of renewable fuels. Refining of pyrolysis oils to fuels can be done by catalytic hydrotreatment which mainly involves reducing its high oxygen content by hydrodeoxygenation (HDO). The research will focus on understanding how different components of pyrolysis oils interact to influence the HDO reactions as well as to understand how possible impurities may be potential catalyst poisons. The position will involve the use of a combination of different experimental techniques regarding catalyst synthesis, characterisation and activity evaluation. There may also be opportunity to use a mathematical modeling approach to gain further understanding of the hydroprocessing process. The project will be carried out in collaboration with KCK's industry partners and in particular Preem AB.


Major responsibilities

Your major responsibilities are to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing. The position includes research at an 80-100% level where the remaining part is teaching and departmental work.


Position summary

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.



The successful candidate should have:
(1) Master degree primarily in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering with Physics or Chemistry
(2) High motivation, and an analytical and problem solving personality
(3) Good communication skills in written and spoken English
(4) Ability to work independently and take responsibility for progress and quality of the project


Experience in operation of experimental or industrial catalytic reactor systems, experimental techniques for heterogeneous catalyst synthesis and characterisation or mathematical kinetic modelling or similar modelling, is meritorious.


Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.


Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180399 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

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


Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.


Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).


Application deadline: 30 August, 2018


For questions, please contact:
Prof. Derek Creaser, Chemical Engineering,, + 46 (0)31 - 772 3023


*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***

In your application, please refer to