Postdoctoral researcher

Posted: July 4, 2017 in Belgium, Europe, Jul-Sept Deadline, Other/Jobs, Post Doc, Researcher
Tags: ,
Last application date
Aug 12, 2017 23:59
TW11 – Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering
Limited duration
PhD in Chemical Engineering or related subject
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

Postdoctoral researcher: Integrated model guided process optimization of steam cracking furnaces (IMPROOF)

Evaluate theoretically and experimentally the potential benefit of applying high emissivity coatings, oxy-fuel combustion and 3D reactor designs in steam cracking furnaces.

Steam cracking is one of the most energy intensive processes in the chemical industry. Although steam cracking technology is considered to be mature, the complexity of the process and the harsh operating conditions allow the implementation of technology developments towards substantial heat transfer enhancement. One of the main objectives of IMPROOF is to increase the energy efficiency of the radiation section of a steam cracking furnace, minimizing exergy losses. A key element to realize this is the use of high emissivity coatings manufactured and studied under real furnace conditions in the project. On the other hand NOx emissions can be reduced by the possible use of oxy-fuel combustion. Finally, the efficiency and selectivity can be improved by applying

Although the benefit of the application of high emissivity coatings is clear they are still rarely applied for steam cracking furnaces. Therefore IMPROOF will assess the results of the application of high emissivity materials on improved refractory materials on TRL5 and TRL6 level. These furnace redesigns of components and process tubes combined with CFD modelling will be a further multiplier for the potential benefit of IMPROOF. IMPROOF seeks to further demonstrate that also existing furnaces can be retrofitted to increase their performance. At the same IMPROOF will result in optimized resource and energy efficiencies, and also less pollutant emissions. A risk is that, as a result of improvements in the radiant section by coating various components with high emissivity products, the amount of heat released to the convective section will be reduced. This will necessitate a re-evaluation of the operation of the convective section which will prompt the evaluation of high emissivity products to improve heat absorption in this area as well.

Nowadays, there is an increased interest towards the development of oxy-fuel combustion, i.e. the process of burning a fuel using pure oxygen instead of air as the primary oxidant. One of the advantages of oxy-fuel combustion is the production of a highly concentrated stream of CO2, ready for capture and storage (CCS). Beside CCS, oxy-fuel combustion has other advantages, such as the possibility to significantly reduce the size of the combustor unit compared to that used in the corresponding air-fired combustion. Another essential question that will be addressed by IMPROOF is if the use of renewable fuels such as bio-gas or bio-oils is actually beneficial to be considered in steam cracking furnaces. Detailed kinetic models and CFD will be used to provide answers to all these questions.

Profile of the candidate

Applicants must possess a PhD in Chemical Engineering or related subject and a TOEFL certificate with a minimum score of 95(iBT) or equivalent. Relevant experience in the area of reactor engineering, kinetics, and/or computational chemistry is strongly recommended. Candidates must have a strong mathematical background and be willing to focus on obtaining quantitative rather than qualitative results.

How to apply

Any additional information can be obtained by contacting. Any application should enclose a C.V., a one page justification of your interest and the e-mail addresses of at least two references.

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