PhD Student

Last application date
Jan 25, 2023 00:00
TW11 - Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering
Limited duration
Master degree in Chemical Engineering Technology or Chemical Engineering or equivalent degree
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

Vacancy: PhD in reductive depolymerization of hydrolysis lignin

The Industrial Catalysis and Adsorption Technology (INCAT) research group ( at Ghent University is looking for a qualified and motivated candidate to pursue a Ph.D. in catalyst development and catalytic performance testing in hydrolysis lignin depolymerization.

Job offer:

  • PhD position for 4 years (1+3) to work on the DELICARE research project (Depolymerization of Hydrolysis Lignins for Conversion to Acrylic Resins) (cSBO project, granted for 4 years)
  • Focus on catalyst preparation and catalyst testing (from batch to continuous flow reactors)
  • Challenging, creative and constructive environment
  • Unique opportunity to participate in a project with other research groups and with many national/European industrial partners in the advisory board
  • Competitive salary

Our research group is strongly developing the catalytic conversion of biomass-derived streams, their upgrading and separation into useful chemicals, with a strong application-oriented goal. The group has experience in the modification of lignin and its valorization into bio-based polymers. INCAT is also developing new analysis techniques (e.g. 2D-LC, pyrolysis-GCxGC-MS) and is using advanced techniques to characterize lignin and its reaction products upon depolymerization.

Your role in this project is to work on the work packages related to catalyst preparation and catalyst testing. You will prepare powder (bi)metallic supported catalysts and will also work in close collaboration with the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) on the shaping of these powders. You will map intrinsic kinetics on the powder catalysts to gain an in-depth understanding of the lignin depolymerization of the solubilized hydrolysis lignins in dedicated experimental testing campaigns. These data will be provided as input for microkinetic modeling, which will be performed at the Laboratory for Chemical Technology (LCT) of Ghent University. You will also be involved in the transition from batch to continuous testing and evaluating the novel shaped catalysts.

Job profile

Your profile:

  • You hold or will receive soon a Master degree in Chemical Engineering Technology or Chemical Engineering or equivalent degree.
  • You must have distinguished yourself in your studies.
  • You have strong experimental skills, you are well organized, you are an excellent communicator, a team player.
  • You preferably have some experience in catalyst preparation and/or catalytic testing.
  • Your English is good. Knowledge of Dutch is desirable.

How to apply


Send your CV and motivation letter, including contact details for up to 3 references that we may contact, to, indicating “Application: PhD in reductive depolymerization of hydrolysis lignin” in the subject.