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New Process for Separating Multicomponent Mixtures in Urban Mining

   Chemical Engineering

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  Prof Andreas Pfennig  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

At the University of Liège the following position is offered:

Research Engineer in Chemical Engineering funded by an FNRS PDR project

Full-time contract for Ph.D. student, limited to 1 year, extendable to overall 4 years

Immediate opening, latest start: July 2022

Research Topic:

A large fraction of valuable metal components contained in e.g. electronic waste is currently not recovered, partly due to the complexity of the required separation processes. Reactive extraction is one of the most promising processes for separating and purifying such valuable components like precious and rare earth metals in the context of a circular economy. Based on the previous experience, a new separation strategy shall be implemented, which allows the separation of multiple components in a single extraction process. This will greatly simplify the overall process. The basis for the design are our single-drop lab cells, a drop-based simulation tool, and a pilot plant (https://www.chemeng.uliege.be/ReDrop). In the simulations, the drop-population balances are solved in a straightforward way that avoids complex math. The necessary lab equipment and simulation tools are available, but need to be adapted to the specifics of this project. The method shall be developed to the point where it can be presented to our industrial partners, which shall be the basis for licensing and patent application. On a scientific level, the drop-based models shall be optimized for a better characterization of the relevant material systems and the simulation tools shall be further developed to allow the optimization of the new process.

Your Tasks:

-     Utilize lab experiments in the single-drop measuring cells to further develop single-drop models e.g. on mass transfer

-     Integrate the experimental results in the ReDrop simulations

-     Develop ReDrop to simulate the new process and allow process optimization

-     Validate the findings on pilot scale, e.g. in a five-stage mixer-settler

We offer:

In the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Liège, you will work in the PEPs group (Products, Environment, and Processes, www.chemeng.uliege.be/peps). You will be a member of the research team of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Pfennig, who will supervise your research. The research work is intended to be the basis for a PhD thesis. Payment will be made via a tax-free PhD fellowship of approximately 2000 Euro per month.

Your Profile:

-     You have a Master's degree in chemical engineering or similar. You can also apply if you have a different Master's degree, but then you should clarify your interests and skills in the field.

-     You are fluent in English, knowledge of French is an advantage

-     You bring organizational skills, independence and diligence.

Your Application:

If you are interested in the position, please send your application with full CV, transcripts of your Bachelor's and Master's studies, abstracts of Master and possibly Bachelor thesis, and motivation letter via e-mail to the contact below.

Contact for Further Questions and to Submit Your Application: 

[Email Address Removed],


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