Vacancy No. IKFT 01-17

IKFT 01-17 / Internship, Diploma-, Master- and Bachelor Thesis: Hydrothermal liquefaction of sewage sludge

Job description

The numerous requirement of fuels has promoted the application of promising technology to provide renewable energy. The potential of different types of biomass for bio-crude production via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) has been successfully tested with promising results. Compared with conventional conversion processes, HTL is usually performed with sub/supercritical water to reform organic wastes into biofuels and bio-based valuable chemcials without drying step of biomass. Hydrothermal conversion have been applied to a variety of biomass like lignin, algae, sewage sludge as well as food wastes, which including mixtures of organic and inorganic compositions, and the bio-oil products has been the very attractive issue, due to its high energy content.

However, the quality of the produced bio-crude can be limited in case of nitrogen contained in the feedstock. Therefore, special attention has to be paid to the fate of nitrogen during hydrothermal conversion. The analysis of chemical nature as well as the distribution of nitrogen in the conversion products (gas, bio-crude, watery phase is necessary not only for evaluating the oil as fuel or chemicals but also for clarifying the liquefaction mechanism.

The goal of this project is to elucidate the bio-oil yields and quality during hydrothermal liquefaction of sewage sludge, especially the nitrogen distribution of products, getting a deep understanding to the mechanism of reaction pathways, targeted catalysts that applied to reduce or remove high nitrogen containing compounds could be considered.

  • Batch scale HTL of sewage sludge (major work, the HTL dependence of reaction temperature, holding time)
  • Products separation and extraction
  • To evaluate the bio-oil yields and bio-oil quality
  • To analyze the nitrogen distribution
Personal qualification

student chemical engeneering, process engeneering

Organizational unit

Institute of Catalysis Research und Technology (IKFT)

Starting date

October 2017

Contact person

Yujie Fan, IKFT, phone: +49 721 6082-6193 (e-mail:


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number IKFT 01-17.
Personnel support is provided by 

Ms Berger
phone: +49 721 608-25184,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

If qualified, handicapped applicants will be preferred.