The work will be carried out in the context of a regional project at the Faculty of Engineering (FPMs) of UMONS. This project is funded by the Recovery and Resilience plan managed by the Walloon Region in Belgium and concerns the thematic of CCU (Carbon Capture and Utilization) application in the lime production sector.
Indeed, carbon-intensive industries like cement and lime production plants lead to unavoidable CO2 emissions linked to the decarbonation of the raw material, namely limestone. In such case, carbon capture appears as a necessity in order to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from these plants.
The project is addressing the most mature carbon capture technology, namely the post-combustion absorption-regeneration using amine(s)-based solvents, but which still needs specific optimization for the application to lime plants flue gases.
Area of the proposed research:
The flue gases generated at the outlet of lime kilns have some particularities in terms of composition (presence of impurities and composition variation) and flow rate (fluctuations linked to the lime production process itself). Moreover, the solvents used in the absorption-regeneration process are sensitive to other components like O2, SOx, NOx, … leading to degradation. To minimize such phenomenon, adequate flue gas pretreatments must be implemented prior to the CO2 capture process. Beside this aspect, such kind of process being very energy intensive, investigating the heat integrations possibilities is very relevant for limiting its operating costs.
In this context, the following tasks will be included:
- bibliographic review on the dynamic simulations of the post-combustion CO2 capture processes by absorption-regeneration;
- simulations (mainly using Aspen Plus, or any needed software) of the post-combustion CO2 capture processes by absorption-regeneration: switch from steady-state to dynamic simulations in order to study the dynamic response of the process to the inlet flue gas fluctuations;
- simulations of flue gas pre-treatments and CO2 purification processes;
- heat integration with a CO2 conversion process (e.g. to e-kerosene);
- lab and/or micro-pilot scales absorption-regeneration tests of amine(s)-based solvents: fresh and degraded solutions in order to quantify the effect of degradation products on the solvents performances.
The works will be also possibly include some techno-economic analyses (TEA).
During the works, several exchanges will be necessary with internal collaborators (other PhD students, post-docs, etc., e.g. providing inputs to allowing them to perform a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)) and also with external collaborators such as members of the project consortium (including industrials), technology providers, other universities or research organisms, etc.
Education: Candidates must hold a PhD degree in Chemical engineering/Chemistry/Engineering Sciences or fields (such as industrial chemistry, mechanical/ environmental engineering, …) with a strong interest in chemistry, energy, process engineering and optimization. Any previous experience in relation with carbon capture, especially by absorption, would be an asset.
Languages: A good knowledge of English is required, both oral and written; a knowledge of French would be an asset.
Other skills: Interest and experience with simulation/modeling tools (such as Aspen Plus/Hysys, gPROMS) is mandatory (previous experience with dynamic simulations would be an asset). Any experience related to absorption/regeneration tests and amine(s)-based solvents would be also an asset. Writing skills, good interpersonal and communication skills, rigor and conciseness will be highly appreciated.
The candidate will be hosted in a nice working environment under a challenging job at a dynamic and ambitious University, and in the context of a multi-partners project. Salaries are in accordance with the internal University agreement.
The Post-Doc is expected to start as soon as possible in 2023 for a duration of 18 months.
Applications (CV + motivation letter showing the adequacy with the requested profile + eventual letters of recommendation) should be sent by email to both:
Prof. Guy DE WEIRELD: email@example.com ; +32(0)65/37.42.03
Prof. Diane THOMAS: firstname.lastname@example.org ; +32(0)65/37.44.04
Dr Lionel DUBOIS: email@example.com ; +32(0)65/37.50.54
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department
Faculty of Engineering – University of Mons (UMONS)
20, Place du Parc
7000 Mons – Belgium
After a first selection based on the CV, the recruitment procedure will include minimum two interviews comprising a first remote interview by Microsoft Teams or phone, and a second interview (ideally in live at UMONS) including a short presentation by the candidate.
UMONS aims to be a diverse and inclusive community. Job vacancies respect the principle of non-discrimination and the recruitment procedure guarantees fair treatment of applications regardless of the gender, race or ethnic origin, social origin, religion or beliefs, disability, age, sexual orientation or political opinions of applicants.