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--> The PhD positions are now officially announced, apply here: TU Wien career portal. <--

CO2Refinery offers 10 PhD positions for a duration of four years, starting in early 2021. Each PhD position corresponds to one of our projects.
The application is open until January 21st, 2021. You can find the official call here.

Application process

To apply, please fill out the online application form at As you apply for the doctoral school as a whole and not for a single project directly, please give your project preferences in the motivation letter.

The application process takes place in three rounds:

  • Round 1 consists of the evaluation of the incoming applications, resulting in a selection of the best candidates for Round 2.

  • Round 2 consists of video interviews with the applicants, resulting in a selection of the best candidates who are invited for Round 3.

  • For Round 3, applicants are invited to personal interviews at TU Wien (provided the COVID-19 situation allows it). The expenses for travel and accommodation will be reimbursed.

Overview of PhD positions

Research Area 1: Activation of CO2 and carbon/energy storage

PhD position #1: Thermo-chemical CO2 conversion of biomass to syngas
PhD thesis #1 is dedicated to utilizing CO2 via CO2-biomass gasification to produce a high-value syngas needed for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals.

PhD position #2: Energy Storage
PhD thesis #2 works on the combination of thermo-chemical energy storage and sCO2-power cycles, with the target to find techno-economical optimized combinations.


Research Area 2: Upgrading of CO2 into fuels, chemicals and feed products

PhD position #3: Continuous production of fine chemicals from carbon dioxide using supported ionic liquid phase catalysts
PhD #3 shall develop novel catalytically active ionic liquids for CO2 activation and conversion into value-added fine chemicals including carbonates and carboxylic acids and their derivatives - and to increase the performance further – promising catalysts will be immobilized on highly structured materials.

PhD position #4: Autotrophic and mixotrophic upgrading of CO2 for chemical production
The main topic of this PhD thesis is the development of a continuous gas fermentation bioprocess for microbial upgrading of CO2 and other C1 carbon and energy sources from gasification of biomass or industrial sources into value-added chemicals and fuels using metabolically engineered acetogenic hosts.

PhD position #5: Versatile and robust catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation to methanol
PhD thesis #5 is dedicated to catalyst development for CO2 conversion, preferentially to methanol, by combining synthesis, materials characterization, reaction kinetics, and operando spectroscopy, and the integration of the process in the CO2 refinery with upstream and downstream processes.

PhD position #6: Synthesis of proteins/nutrients
A methylotrophic yeast strain will be engineered to enable an integrated process which couples methanol synthesis with its bioconversion to value-added products like proteins. 

PhD position #7: Carbon Utilization by Synthetic Natural Gas Production
PhD thesis #7 is dedicated to utilizing CO2 enriched syngas within a fluidized bed methanation pilot plant to generate sustainable and renewable synthetic natural gas (SNG) suitable for gas grid feed-in. 


Research Area 3: Systems engineering, modeling and analysis

PhD position #8: Porous ceramic frameworks for CO2 utilization
The main topic of this PhD thesis is the development and implementation of new approaches towards generating ceramic materials with graded and/or hierarchical pore systems, with direct applicability in various fields of CO2 utilization.

PhD position #9: Systems Engineering and Life Cycle Assessment
PhD #9 shall integrate and scale-up all CO2Refinery routes into flow sheeting tools to provide consistent material and energy balances for economic and sustainability analysis following an open-source software strategy for process simulation and life-cycle assessment.

PhD position #10: Economic, environmental and policy assessment of CO2-derived products
PhD position #10 has a special focus on dynamic modelling of energy economics, environmental aspects, and policy issues of bioenergy systems with further applicability in various fields of CO2 utilization.