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Postdoc position Biofuels with Negative Emissions (1.0 FTE)

Utrecht University's Faculty of Science is looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher Biofuels with Negative Emissions. Interested? Read more and apply.

9 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2640 - € 4166 per maand


Within Utrecht University’s strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability an interdisciplinary team of researchers has developed the impact-oriented research programme ‘Deep Decarbonization: Towards Industry with Negative Emissions’. In this programme, a broad group of researchers (Renewable Energy Systems, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Climate Policies, Innovation Studies, Governance, Economics and Law) will be working together with an equally broad group from industry, government and civil society, to generate new concepts to support the radical transformation of industry needed for our society to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. The sustainable energy transition is well underway and gathering pace as far as electric renewables and electrification are concerned. However, it is still unclear how the industry will deal with carbon for fuel and feedstock, when total CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions must be brought down to zero around mid-century to meet the Paris target. It might be necessary for the industry to have effectively negative emissions, to offset unavoidable emissions in other sectors.

In the Deep Decarbonization Hub of the strategic theme, we aim to collaboratively develop a shared understanding of industrial transformation that actively supports the energy transition in industry. One of the hub’s three main research lines focusses on Biofuels with Negative Emissions (BFNE).

Key questions are:
(a) What are the current and future prospects for second-generation biofuel and negative emission technologies in the Netherlands? What are the corresponding scientific, technological and economic challenges? How will future technologies improve and maximize the sustainable use of biomass compared to current biofuels production, distribution, and consumption?
(b) What are plausible and sustainable future visions for the introduction, regulation and governance of second-generation biofuels in the Netherlands that may also require biomass in combination with CCS for negative emissions (BECCS)?
(c) What strategies can be implemented for responsible and sustainable innovation in this domain as part of a broad strategy of biomass use in the Netherlands to achieve the sustainable visions in line with the Dutch commitment to the Paris Agreement?


To address these questions, we are looking for Postdoctoral Researcher with a strong background in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering and a broad interest in the scientific, technological, economic and social aspects of the energy transition, to make an inventory of the technologies, tools and expertise available in the Chemistry Department and Copernicus Institute to identify and experimentally explore the most promising opportunities for new breakthroughs in negative-emission technologies in combination with second generation jet and marine fuel production.

Main research activities thus are:
(a) analysis and exploration of biomass-to-liquids and CCS technologies and their technological/scientific challenges and opportunities, as well as a detailed sustainability assessment;
(b) support the Hub’s sustainability visioning and strategy development for responsible and sustainable innovation. These tasks will both involve experimental work on selected production pathways, and - based on insights from this work (on e.g. efficiencies, yields etc.) - techno-economic analyses for future deployment. Experience and proven affinity with both the technical/chemical aspects of biofuels production as well as with the techno-economic assessment is therefore considered as a strong plus.

This research will be conducted in close collaboration with colleagues from different disciplines and stakeholders from industry, government and civil society. In the spirit of the inter- and transdisciplinary approach of Pathways to Sustainability, close collaboration with the other Postdoctoral Researchers and hub participants is required in order to integrate the research findings for achieving the overall project objectives outlined above.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for two years. The gross salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges between €2,640 and €4,166 (scale 10 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

Additionele informatie

Addition information about the position can be obtained from Prof. Pieter Bruijnincx via p.c.a.bruijnincx@uu.nl of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science or Prof. Martin Junginger via h.m.junginger@uu.nl of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development. More information on the research approach of the hub can be obtained from Prof. Gert Jan Kramer.

As part of the selection procedure, the candidate is expected to give an oral presentation detailing her/his scientific background and match with the intended research project and approach.