Closing Soon! PhD scholarship in Downstream Process Modeling, Design, and Optimization of Plastic (PET) Chemical Recycling

Apply no later than 14 November 2018
Apply for the job at DTU Chemical Eng. by completing the following form.

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The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at DTU invites applications for a 3-year PhD position in downstream processing of depolymerized polyethylene terephthalate.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a plastic that is not recycled but reused inevitably ending to landfill or combustion at the end of its life cycle, posing a serious economic and environmental threat. Depolymerizing PET to its monomers can lead to significant savings of capital and resources in comparison with producing virgin PET.

As part of the efforts of an international consortium to realize a chemical recycling plant (comprising of a core de-polymerization unit and a downstream treatment unit), DTU Chemical Engineering focuses on the downstream units for the recovery and purification of final products, that is ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid as virgin-grade PET monomers.

Responsibilities and tasks
The main purpose of this PhD project is designing a process for efficient purification of PET monomers. To do so, you will need to work with:

  • Experimental determination of physical properties.
  • Building of thermodynamic models able to predict these properties
  • Combining thermodynamic models with process simulation tools in order to design the downstream processes.
  • Validating the developed models against lab scale and pilot plant experiments.
  • Optimizing processes through process simulation and techno-economic analysis.
  • Developing the whole closed process cycle and proposing alternatives.

Candidates should have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) in chemical engineering or similar and have a background in computer modelling and simulation. Previous experience with experimental determination of physical properties as well as with process simulation tools such as ASPEN HYSYS and ASPEN Plus will be highly appreciated.

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.

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 Ioannis V. Skiadas

You can read more about Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at

Please submit your online application no later than 14 November 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted asone 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 vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel 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.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at DTU is a leader in innovative teaching and research, built on core technical subjects and engineering scientific disciplines. The teaching and research covers separation processes, reaction engineering, dynamics and process regulation, process and facility planning, unit operations, heat transmission, fluid mechanics and applied thermodynamics. The Department enjoys very close relations with international partners, and especially a wide range of industrial companies.

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.


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