Wageningen University PhD Position in Bioprocess Engineering “STW Biocement Project”, Netherlands

Wageningen UR (University & Research centre)

A PhD student who will explore the technical and environmental aspects of sustainable cement production. The PhD will work at Environmental technology and Bioprocess engineering of Wageningen University in the STW project “Towards the development of CO2 neutral renewable cement (BioCement)” which is part of the STW Perspective program BioGeoCivil. Also two other PhDs will work in this project at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, at Delft University of Technology and Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University (see attachment). Special emphasis in this PhD study will be on the development and characterization of the simultaneous microalgal production of primary products, like oil, and silica/calcium carbonate as a sustainable process for the production of cement. The tasks include: Characterization and quantification of biomass-derived ashes: Literature and experimental study of silica and calcium carbonate minerals that can be produced by microalgae, including properties of such minerals from geological deposits of algal origin. Bio-based cement production from specifically grown feedstocks: Development of the production of microalgae with high silica/calcium carbonate content for the sustainable production of cement. Continuous lab experiments with photobioreactors to optimize growth conditions for the selected microalgae. The obtained key factors will be used to model the conditions for optimal production of microalgal biomass. The model will be used to develop the design criteria for a process pre-design to evaluate the pro’s and con’s for the development of a pilot-scale production unit of microalgal biomass for production of primary product and biocement resources. Quantification of carbon footprint, environmental properties: Mass and energy balances will be made to evaluate the carbon footprint of the newly developed biobased route. Also the potential environmental benefits to removal and cycling of P, N, and silicates in microalgal cultivation systems will be studied.


As PhD researcher you are an ambitious and enthusiastic scientist who is internationally oriented and a team player, devoted to help to develop a sustainable, biobased, economy. You also have: an MSc in Bioprocess engineering, Environmental technology, Chemical engineering or a similar field knowledge and expertise on cultivation of microorganisms and preferably of microalgae strong scientific research skills excellent communication skills and team work attitude Selection will be performed together with the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Microlab of Delft University of Technology and Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University


We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2042 in the first year rising up to € 2612 per month in the fourth year. We not only offer a competitive salary but also good (study) leave and a pension of the ABP Pension Fund.Additional informationFor more information about this position, please contact Dr. J.T.C. Grotenhuis, University lecturer, telephone number +31 317 482561. For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Mrs. Joes van Meurs, HRM-advisor, telephone number +31 317480101.Interested?You can apply online at Official Website. until April 14th 2011.


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