The Department of Chemistry, University of Bergen, Norway, has a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher, for 2 years, on an interdisciplinary project funded by the Research Council of Norway. The goal of the project is to develop green catalysts for the conversion of lignin-derived bio-oil to renewable biofuel.
Lignocellulosic plant material is not used for animal feed or human food and is an attractive biomass for future generations of renewable motor fuels. The lignin fraction is particularly promising, as it is the only abundant natural resource available for direct recovery of aromatic hydrocarbons, a required component of motor fuels. Whereas efficient protocols, such as the Bergen lignin-to-liquid (LtL) process (see, e.g., Energy Fuels 2008, 22, 1371), have been developed for depolymerization and partial removal of the oxygen functionalities of lignin, attempts at removal of the remaining oxygen functionalities using catalysis have so far largely led to hydrogenation of the aromatic rings instead of hydrogenolysis of the C-O bonds.
We will develop recyclable catalysts for environmentally friendly and economically viable removal of the remaining oxygen functionalities of the lignin-derived LtL oil. The candidate will design, synthesize, and test heterogenized organometallic fragments on metal oxides as catalysts. This experimental work will be complemented by computational work carried out by other project members. These calculations will offer valuable mechanistic insight and predictions that may accelerate catalyst design.
The most promising predicted catalysts will be synthesized and tested, and the project also includes overall process optimization. The project involves close collaboration between computational and experimental chemists, in three different research groups at the University of Bergen:
Salary at pay grade xx (Code xxx) upon appointment, which annually amounts to ca. NOK xxxx (currently ca. USD xxxx, or ca. EUR xxxxx). Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position. In the case of particularly highly qualified applicants higher salaries may be considered.