Postdoc on Bioash Soil Application Originating from Low Temperature Gasification (PYRONEER) using a Variety of Low-Value Fuels from different Sectors of Society
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering seeks a postdoc for research on the integration of bioenergy conversion (gasification) and recycling of bioash to agricultural soils improving the technology’s economic feasibility and sustainability.
In the coming decades, society has to adapt to limitations in fossil oil supply and climate change and to shift towards an optimized use of biomass for food and energy purposes.
The combination of flexibility and efficiency in biomass conversion has in recent years attracted increasing attention to the thermal gasification technology. The low temperature circulating fluidised bed gasifier named PYRONEER has proven to be a promising platform for improved utilisation of a variety of troublesome marginal biomass resources. An additional selling argument for this specific technology is avoidance of the formation of toxic elements such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), which opens up for utilisation of an ash fraction (bioash) completely different from the traditional ash resulting from combustion. The application of the nutrient-rich bioash as a fertilizer on agricultural soils will help to close the nutrient cycles and at the same time add value to the conversion technology.
In this context, the recycling of phosphorus (P) plays a major role. P fertilization is essential for modern food production and is often the limiting factor for crop yields. However, global commercially available P stocks will eventually become scarce and are possibly depleted already in 50-100 years, most likely increasing P production costs by a factor 3 to 5 in this century. Therefore, possibilities to recirculate P back to agricultural soils have to be explored to a greater extent than present, and bioashes containing P are hypothesised to be important contributors to the global P cycles in future.
Interdisciplinary and international collaboration
The research activities are part of an interdisciplinary research initiative at the Department involving the two centers CHEC (Combustion and Harmful Emission Control) and ECO (Ecosystems and Environmental Sustainability). You will be involved in the project “Fuel Flexible, Efficient and Sustainable Low Temperature Biomass Gasification” funded by EUDP, Danish Energy Agency. The project aims at evaluating the ability of the PYRONEER technology to convert fuels from different sectors of society and raising awareness and building confidence in handling and utilization of the bioash as a high value fertilizer. The activities include mechanistic studies to improve the understanding of soil processes and crop response as well as semi-field and demonstration field trials conducted in collaboration with other partners in the project.
You have a PhD degree or equivalent and finalized a successful first postdoc position in a similar topic with documented experience within several of the following research areas:
Chemical analysis of organic matter
Soil application of organic matter, microbial decomposition and nutrient dynamics
Experimentation under controlled environmental conditions in growth chamber and greenhouse set-ups as well as under field conditions
Crop responses and cropping systems
Integration of biomass feedstock into bioenergy concepts
You have demonstrated your ability to publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals. It is an advantage if you have experience with and interest in interdisciplinary research. It is a plus if you like to contribute to the interaction with and supervision of students and if you are able to communicate in Danish. If you previously collaborated with private companies in research projects it will also be regarded as an advantage. (In the present project the following private partners are involved: DONG Energy, HedeDanmark, The Knowledge Centre for Agriculture and Agrotech.)
We offer an exciting and challenging job in an international atmosphere with good possibilities for professional and personal development. Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering is a family-friendly organization with flexible working hours. Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering requires variety and supports equal opportunities irrespective of sex and ethnic background.
Terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The position is for three years starting 1 September 2011 or as soon as possible hereafter.