Luleå University of Technology experiences rapid growth with world-leading expertise within several research domains. We shape the future through innovative education and groundbreaking research results and drawing on our location in the Arctic region, we create global societal benefit. Our scientific and artistic research and education are carried out in close collaboration with international, national and regional companies, public actors and leading universities. Luleå University of Technology has an annual turnover of SEK 1.9 billion. Today, we have 1,815 staff and 19,155 students.

In the coming years, multi-billion investments will be made in large projects in Northern Sweden to create a fossil-free society both nationally and globally. Luleå University of Technology is involved in several of these cutting-edge research projects and in the societal transformation that they entail. We offer a broad range of courses and study programmes to match the skills in demand. We hope that you will help us to build the sustainable companies and societies of the future.

The Division of Energy Science at Luleå University of Technology seeks one PhD student within Energy Engineering, who will focus on the production of biochar in existing fluidized bed boilers for combined heat and power (CHP) plants.

Subject description
Energy engineering includes the development of technologies and processes for a sustainable energy supply. The research focuses on bioenergy technologies and efficient energy use in industry and society, with close collaboration with companies/industries. Our research has high international standards, and we collaborate with researchers around the world.

Project description
The position is associated with the project “Large-scale production of biocarbon as renewable feedstock in fossil-free value chains within the iron and steel industry”, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. The project aims to develop a solution enabling large-scale production of biocarbon in the form of a reactor concept which can be integrated into existing CHP plants. This requires knowledge of how the properties of biocarbon are affected by its mixing in the reactor and methods for controlling this. The project combines lab and industrial scale experiments with modelling. Project partners includes research groups (LTU, Chalmers, and RISE), technology development companies (Bioshare), plant owners (E-ON Sverige), and the iron and steel industry (SSAB and Höganäs). After the project, there will be a reactor concept for implementation that can provide industrial partners with up to 80 kt/y of biocarbon, i.e., about -290 kt CO2/y.

You will mainly carry out experimental and modelling work to identify the key operation parameters for fluidized bed reactors that affect the productivity and quality of biocoal. Major focus is on the investigation of fuel conversion kinetics including heat and mass transfer limitation as well as the detailed characterization of biocarbon.

As a PhD student, most of your working time will be devoted to your own research project. You work independently with your research, and communicate your results in scientific journals and participation at national and international conferences. You also study third-cycle courses. In addition, you can have the opportunity to try the teacher role. As a researcher, you work as a neutral party in many contexts, which provides a great opportunity to be involved in challenging development projects. You will have two or three supervisors who support you in your work.

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team. You have a master’s degree in chemical engineering, energy engineering, mechanical engineering, or equivalent. We also welcome applicants with an expected degree during spring of 2022.

Additional requirements

– Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
– Good experimental skills.
– Good skills in academic writing.
– Ability to work independently and take own initiatives as well as being able to penetrate new research areas on your own.

The following competencies and knowledge are meritorious

– Reaction kinetics.
– Chemical and material analyses of biomass and/or biochar
– Thermochemical conversion technologies.
– Fluidized bed reactors.

See also the general curriculum for education at post-graduate level in Energy Engineering.

Most employees at the subject of Energy Engineering are currently men, therefore we welcome female applicants.

Further information
Employment as a PhD student is limited to 4 years, teaching and other department duties may be added with max 20%. You will be employed at Luleå University of Technology, and be located in Luleå, Sweden.

For further information about the position, please contact: Professor Kentaro Umeki, +46 (0)920-49 2484,, Professor Marcus Öhman, Head of Division, +46 (0)920-49 1977,

Union representatives: SACO-S Kjell Johansson (+46)920-49 1529, OFR-S Lars Frisk, (+46)920-49 1792

In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Your application should include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish.

Send in your application via the apply button below. Mark your application with the reference number.

Reference number: 2261-2022
Last day of application:
 3 July 2022

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