Ghent University
PhD student - Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Ghent University
After decades of uninterrupted growth, Ghent University is one of the leading institutions of higher education and research in the Low Countries with 36,000 students and more than 8,000 staff members.
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JOB DETAILS
Published: 20 days ago
Application deadline: Jul 06
Location: Gent, Belgium
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PhD student - Department of Green Chemistry and Technology

Last application date Jul 06, 2018 13:45
Department LA24 - Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Contract Limited duration
Degree Msc in bioscience or chemical engineering, preferentially with a strong background/interest in (bio)chemistry
Occupancy rate 100%
Vacancy Type Research staff

Job description

What will be your challenge? In this PhD trajectory, you will develop improved ion exchange membranes for electrodialysis applications in bio-based chemical process industry. Although the projectproposal has already been written, you will be expected to defend the proposal to obtain FWO funding for this PhD.

An experimental approach will be used to:

  1. Gain a deeper insight into fouling phenomena of biotechnological streams;
  2. Develop new fouling resistant ion exchange membranes using layer by layer approach;

Your work will result in a prototype and a proof of concept for selected industrial cases.

Background: 
Arguments in favour of a shift from petrochemical feedstock to alternative bio based chemicals are well-known. Bio-based chemicals are produced from the fermentation or direct transformation of natural feedstock (upstream processing). This is followed by several operational steps with the purpose of isolating and purifying target molecules (downstream processing). Electrodialysis provides an attractive alternative for existing separation technologies, e.g. ion exchange (IEX) and membrane filtration. It can provide cost-effective processing at higher concentrations compared to IEX while providing highly selective separations between charged and uncharged components. The latter is not the case when applying pressure-driven membrane filtration applications such as reverse osmosis (RO). Fouling however is a challenge when processing bio-based streams. This is due to the fact that these streams are typically highly complex mixtures. Therefore fouling is a recurring issue hampering effective implementation of electrodialysis in the bio-based chemical industry.

Profile of the candidate

  • Strong entrepreneurial mind-set and critical thinking is a must
  • You have a result-driven character capable of translating theory to practice and vice versa
  • You are an excellent team player who enjoys working in a multidisciplinary environment
  • You are interested to acquire hands-on experience by running innovative experimental set-ups
  • You are fluent in English and eager to write scientific papers
  • You are willing to apply for funding for this subject

How to apply

Contact persons for more information: Marjolein Vanoppen – marjolein.vanoppen@ugent.be

Wim De Schepper – wim.deschepper@vito.be

Please send CV and motivation letter to all of the above persons via e-mail.

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