PhD position in Environmental Engineering/biotechnology

PhD position in Environmental Engineering/biotechnology

Netherlands 17 Jun 2021


Wetsus, centre of excellence for sustainable water technology is a facilitating intermediary for trend-setting know-how development.
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State University
Host Country
17 Jun 2021
Study level
Opportunity type
Eligible Countries
This opportunity is destined for all countries
Eligible Region
All Regions

Integration of direct air capture and biological processes for sustainable production of chemicals


The development of energy-efficient carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies is of utmost importance for our society to reduce global warming. New technologies should achieve a cost-effective capture of CO2 and conversion into carbon-neutral fuels/chemicals by using renewables. In this context, an emerging strategy is direct air capture (DAC), i.e. technologies aiming to capture CO2 directly from ambient air. However, current DAC technologies are still highly energy demanding.

Research challenge

The aim of this research project is to develop an energy-efficient process by combining an innovative electrochemical DAC technology[1] with biological processes. The final goal is to achieve the simultaneous capture of CO2 from ambient air and production of renewable chemicals via microbial conversion. The research will focus on the performance of both the CO2 capture and conversion steps, as well as on the overall process integration, to achieve an energy-efficient integrated process. The research will involve both modelling activities and experimental validation on the integrated DAC-bioreactor system.


Technical background and experience:

Personal knowledge and skills

Partnership and international collaborations

A strong cooperation with industrial partners is envisioned for this project. The research project will be part of the Wetsus research theme Sustainable Carbon Cycle, in close collaboration with industrial partners such as Qirion/Alliander, Shell, and Coval Energy. The candidate will have the opportunity to interact and receive feedback from the industrial partners during regular meetings (every 4 months).

Supervision arrangement

Promotor:  prof. Dr. ir. H.V.M. (Bert) Hamelers (Wetsus/Wageningen University, Environmental Technology (ETE))

Co-promotor:  Dr. ir. Philipp Kuntke (Wetsus/Wageningen University, ETE)

Wetsus supervisors: Dr. Michele Tedesco, Dr. M. Cristina Gagliano

Working arrangement

The research project will be fully executed at Wetsus (Leeuwarden), with regular interaction with Wageningen University.

For more information, contact Dr. M. Tedesco: Michele.tedesco(at)

Please do not send your application to this email address. Only complete applications received via the official application form  will be considered for evaluation.

[1] Shu et al, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 54 (14), 8990–8998.

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