Quick facts

    • Enschede
  • Full time
  • Recruitment


  • Chemical engineering
  • Technology


  • Phd

Apply by: 2024-07-23

PhD Position in Application of Complex Biomass Feeds to Heat and Electricity Generation

Published 2022-11-05

This position is part of the BALANS project funded by RVO HER+ subsidy, where the University of Twente together with industrial partners: HoSt FT, HVC and Bio-energie Andijk, investigate the combustion behaviour of a mix of non-woody biomass fuels. The main aim is to get an insight into the processes and phenomena occurring during the complex biomass gasification and combustion on a grate. The knowledge will be further utilised to optimize the process and design a furnace characterised by ultra-low pollutant emissions.

Project description
In the Netherlands large quantities of complex non-woody combustible biomass are still not utilized for power and heat generation. One of the best opportunities to utilize the potential is efficient and low emission combustion in modern energy plants like Bio-energiecentrale Andijk. However, the physico-chemical properties of the biomass mix, make it very challenging for the energy plant. A low temperature melting point of the ashes leads to agglomeration and blockage at the grate, whereas evaporated sodium and potassium salts present in the fuel, after condensation in the downstream installed afterburning chamber and boiler, may lead to fouling and corrosion. As a consequence the combustion process of such complex biomass (even when mixed with the regular biomass) is characterised by high investment and maintenance costs, low energy efficiency and low plant availability.

The goal of the project is to provide insight and mathematical description of the interacting phenomena which occur during non-woody biomass gasification and combustion on a grate. For that an experimental and numerical research are foreseen. The numerical research part will be focused on the development of a full scale modelling approach based on a two-way coupling between gasification process of the solid feed (bed) and resulted gaseous product combustion (free-board region). The model will be validated using data coming from the monitoring systems and measurements performed at the demonstration plant. Further extension of the model and final optimization of the emissions (NOx and CO) taking into account the reaction of urea injection for NOx reduction and design of the furnace is foreseen in the second stage of the project.

  • We are looking for an enthusiastic, professional, and ambitious colleague
  • You are an outstanding MSc graduated in the field of Thermal Engineering, Fluid Dynamics, Chemical Engineering, Energy Technology, Mechanical Engineering or related discipline with a proven affinity to multidisciplinary assignments.
  • You have a strong and demonstrable background in biomass combustion, gasification or related subject.
  • You have an extended expertise in numerical modelling (CFD) of multiphase processes, including Euler-Lagrangian approach and application of UDFs.
  • You have the ambition and talent to accelerate in finding solutions for complex technological issues with a multidisciplinary character.
  • You have strong analytical skills.
  • You can work in a multidisciplinary team of researchers coming from various branches of science and industry.
  • You have good communication skills and a sound project approach.
  • You speak and write fluent English.
  • We offer a very stimulating position in a dynamic and international environment with enthusiastic colleagues, excellent working conditions and a green and lively campus.
  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • Excellent mentorship and a stimulating international research environment with excellent facilities;
  • A professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente;
  • A starting salary of € 2.541 gross per month in the first year and a salary of € 3.247 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment
Please send your CV, motivation letter and any relevant certificates and references before November 6, 2022 by using the "apply now" button.

If you have any further questions about this vacancy, please contact dr. ir. A.K. Pozarlik (Email: a.k.pozarlik@utwente.nl Tel.: +31 (0)53 489 2658.

The first (online) job interviews will take place the week of November 21, 2022.