Biological methanogenesis as an alternative to the chemical SABATIER process for methane production is a promising process to integrate in the renewable energy landscape of the 21st century. The organisms used for biological CH4 production are hydrogenotrophic archaea which grow autotrophically on CO2 and H2 while producing CH4 and H2O. Biological methane production as part of a power-to-gas concept allows for energy storage, since CH4 is natural gas and the energy stored in this compound can easily be transported via existing gas distribution systems. The aim of this project is to characterize and ideally optimize production of CH4 with these fascinating organisms.
Within the scope of this project you will be carrying out anaerobic cultivations with an Archaeum, both in small scale and in a bioreactor. Preparation, execution and process control of batch and continuous cultivations, product analysis of cultures via gas analysis as well as evaluation of the obtained data will be part of your work. We offer a highly interesting, diversified position comprising analytics and bioprocess technology tools in tight cooperation with an industrial partner. The monthly minimum wage for the PhD position is currently € 1’997,- (14x per year), before tax at a 30h/week employment. Applicants have no claim for reimbursement of travel costs arising from the recording process. The university aims to increase the proportion of women especially in scientific personnel and encourages qualified women to apply. A compensation of € 1800 (€ 300/month x 6 months) for the master thesis will be paid upon successful completion of the thesis.
PhD: Master in Bioprocess Technology, Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, or similar. You should have experience in fermentation technology and microbiology. Master: you are studying biotechnology, bioprocess engineering or similar. Both: Safe command of English, team-oriented, motivated and scientifically curious.
This work can be started immediately and is scheduled for 3 years (PhD) or 6 months (Master).