PhD position on Scaling up Natural Convection Circulation driven e-Methanol synthesis

PhD position on Scaling up Natural Convection Circulation driven e-Methanol synthesis

Published Deadline Location
2 Jul 19 Jul Enschede

Job description

Converting CO2 with H2 into e-Methanol is an attractive route to store renewable energy. Moreover the methanol produced is a renewable fuel and versatile platform molecule. The methanol synthesis starting from CO2 is an equilibrium reaction with low single pass conversion, requiring significant gas recycling. In the LOGIC-reactor concept developed at the UT, this gas recycling is done under natural convection circulation conditions, thus without recycle compressor.

The natural convection circulation concept is charmingly simple and attractive, but intrinsically complex. Heat integration is e.g. required for autothermal operation, but may affect gas circulation. Other complicating factors include the changing gas composition, heat losses and dynamic start-up/shut down behavior in view of intermittent available renewable energy. Moreover, the impact of the scale of operation is a crucial aspect for further optimization and deployment of the technology.

This project aims to arrive at developing (validated) models and scaling rules for e-Methanol production based on above reactor concept. The activities comprise CFD modelling, experimental work on (to be designed) lab units to study flow and heat transfer and data analysis based on the large scale demonstration unit. The latter is a novel and unique-, dynamic operated, e-Methanol process based on a 1 MWe electrolyser for green H2 production and is developed with project partners HyGear and HoSt.

Focus is on (i) predictability and stability of natural circulation flow rate; (ii) predictability of heat transfer under natural convection circulation conditions; (iii) thermal energy management (incl. heat losses to environment) under dynamic operation and (iv) system integration.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You have a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, (Applied) Physics or Mechanical Engineering.
  • You are an enthusiastic and highly motivated researcher, with interest in fluid dynamics and heat transfer and (reactor) modelling.
  • Strong in analytical thinking.
  • Experience in both experimental research and modelling (preferably including CFD).
  • High degree of responsibility and independence, while being able to collaborate with colleagues, researchers and technical staff and with project partners.
  • You have a creative mindset, professional attitude and excellent analytical and communication skills.
  • You have a great team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment.
  • You are a problem solver, dedicated to make things a success, with a positive, optimistic attitude.

Conditions of employment

  • A full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, and the flexibility to work (partially) from home.
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU).
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2770 (first year) to € 3539,- (fourth year).
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme.
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus.
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision.


The Sustainable Process Technology (SPT) group is part of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Twente. We conduct experimental and theoretical research in the areas of biomass conversion, affinity separations, plastic recycling, water, and CO2 capture and conversion. We combine our expertise in different disciplines (process design, chemistry, catalysis, modelling, engineering) to contribute to the development of sustainable chemical- and energy related processes.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before 19-07-2024, and include:
  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, motivations to apply for this position.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references.
  • An IELTS-test, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT), or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE). Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet. TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1840


University of Twente (UT)

Learn more about this employer


Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you


Apply for this job

Apply for this job

This application process is managed by the employer (University of Twente (UT)). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Thank you for applying

Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Tip: save this job as favorite in your AcademicTransfer account. This gives you an immediate overview and makes it easy to find the job later on. No account yet? Create it now and take advantage of other useful functionalities too!

Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 19 Jul 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).