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Postdoctoral position in Chemistry with focus on Environmental Chemistry

Kemiska institutionen




  • Typ av anställning Temporary position longer than 6 months
  • Omfattning 100%
  • Ort Umeå

This postdoctoral position is part of a research project aimed at converting microalgae biomass to high performance carbon materials through hydrothermal carbonization, HTC. The main focus is on characterization of the produced carbon materials, the HTC water phase, and the generated gas. Application deadline is 31 January 2019.

Project description and working tasks
This postdoctoral position is part of a research project where the main aim is to convert microalgae biomass grown in wastewater, and solid residues from lipid extraction of algal biomass to carbon materials through hydrothermal carbonization, HTC. Both the algal feedstocks and the HTC products will be extensively characterized and the data used as a basis for matching the HTC chars to the most appropriate application area, and identifying needs for further functionalization to produce high performance carbon materials with tailored properties. In addition to the characterization of the carbon, the HTC water phase and the generated gas will be characterized and their composition assessed.

You will mainly work with carbonization of algal biomass by means of HTC. One task is to determine how the composition and properties of the hydrochars are influenced by the microalgae feedstock and by HTC process parameters such as temperature and treatment time, another is to evaluate the fate of nutrients and micropollutants present in the microalgae feedstock during HTC treatment, and determine their distribution between gas, liquid and solid products. We will also explore possible application areas for the obtained biochars based on their properties.

This project will mainly be carried out within the environmental platform of the research programme Bio4Energy (, and within a research group focusing on thermal processes that utilize biomass and other biomaterials. The work is mainly based at Umeå University but some tasks may be located at the University of Edinburgh which is one of our collaboration partners in this project. We also have industry partners involved in the project that you in different ways will interact with during the project.

The required qualification is a doctoral degree or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, or in an equivalent field. To be eligible the degree should have been completed a maximum of three years before the end of the application deadline unless special circumstances exists. Previous experience of carbonization of biomass and/or organic waste materials is required, and experience in hydrothermal processing techniques is a strong merit. Very good command of the English language, both written and spoken, is also a requirement.

You should have a keen interest in the area and be prepared to take on the scientific and technical challenges. Training and/or experience in environmental chemistry, analytical chemistry and surface chemistry is required. In addition, it is desirable that you have experience in techniques of relevance for environmental analysis (primarily GC-MS and LC-MS) and surface characterization techniques such as FTIR and XPS. We expect you to have the capability of planning and performing scientific experiments, and an interest to operate in an international environment. Previous international experience is a merit. You should be creative, with good interpersonal and collaborative skills, power of initiative, and a high degree of independence. You should also have very good skills in writing scientific publications.

About the position
The employment is full-time for a period of two years, starting in April 2019, or as agreed.

A complete application must contain the following documents:

  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages) including a description of your qualifications and suitability for the position, your research interests and motivation for applying, and your contact information
  • A curriculum vitae, including a publication list
  • Copies of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
  • Copy of PhD thesis and relevant publications that you wish to submit (maximum 5 publications)
  • Name and contact information of at least two reference persons
  • Other relevant documents you wish to claim

The application should be written in Swedish or English. Applications must be submitted via our e-recruiting system. Log on and apply via the button at the bottom of the page. The last day to apply is 31 January 2019.

For more information please contact Stina Jansson, phone: +46-907867622, email:

Information about the department
Department of Chemistry is the largest department in the Faculty of Science and Technology, with over 200 employees, including about 40 doctoral students, and with a strong and expanding research. Three major areas of research; Biological Chemistry, Environmental and Biogeochemistry and Technical Chemistry, represents the research and chemistry education of our department. We are also a strong partner in KBC, The Chemical-Biological Centre. For more information about working at Umeå University,


April 2019 or by agreement


Stina Jansson


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-2143-18


Monthly salary

Union representative


090-786 53 65


090-786 52 96


090-786 54 31