PhD position “Design of a Bioelectrochemical Biogas Plant”

The Research Group Environmental Process Engineering at the University of Bremen (Germany) seeks candidates for a PhD position (36 months) in the field of designing a bioelectrochemical biogas plant. Candidates should hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in
Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biotechnology (or related fields)

*Your tasks*
The underlying idea of this project is the integration of a microbial electrolysis cell into the biogas plant. At the MECs anode, organic acids are oxidized to carbon dioxide, releasing electrons. These electrons can in turn be used at the cathode to reduce protons to molecular hydrogen. By the electrochemical oxidation of organic acids at the anode, the acidification of the fermenter can be prevented while at the same time pure hydrogen is obtained, which can be further used e.g. to produce valuable chemicals. Your tasks include the characterization and development suitable electrode and membrane materials to construct the microbial electrolysis cell. Based on these materials, an MEC design suitable for integration into the biogas plant shall be developed, and implemented into a model biogas plant. Finally, the complete system will be extensively characterized and limited processes identified. Special regard shall be given to the prevention of hydrogenotrophic microbial growth at the cathode, which would reduce the hydrogen yield.

*Your profile*
We are looking for highly motivated individuals with excellent scientific record. Successful candidates must be good experimentators and possess strong communication skills. Ideally, the candidates have previous experience in the fields of (bio-)electrochemistry.

*What we offer*
The University of Bremen and its Center for Environmental Research and Sustainable Technology offer an excellent scientific environment for interdisciplinary research. The full-time position (salary level 100% E 13) is affiliated to the Research Group Environmental Process Engineering. Our interdisciplinary research is focused on fundamentals, materials, and processes for sustainable environmental engineering and biotechnology.

Institution contact information

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Sven Kerzenmacher
University of Bremen
Research Group Environmental Process Engineering



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