• Vacancy for PhD Student – TU Delft

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TU Delft are seeking to fill 1 PhD vacancy at the Faculty Design, Engineering and Production, Section Energy Technology for the project:


The thermal use of secondary fuels, biomass or waste, compared to the other renewable energy sources represents a cheap and technically feasible short-term option to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions. The European Union has set a goal to increase the share of biomass fuels from 3% in 1995 up to 8% in 2010.

Biomass co-firing activities, both in retrofit and new plants, are expected to expand significantly in the world in the coming years and to contribute to the above mentioned goal. However, (co-)utilisation of biomass or wastes, has consequences on combustion behaviour inside the boiler, emissions, and residual matter (utilisation of by-products). This project focuses on the slagging and fouling behaviour, because co-firing of biomass materials with coal in large utility boilers will increase ash deposition on boiler surfaces.

The objective is to model the ash and deposition behaviour in large scale combustion installations.  A 3D CFD program will used to calculate the fluid flow, combustion and heat transfer in the boiler. The code will be extended with an ash deposition model, which should be capable to predict the fly ash formation, the transport of the particles to the surfaces, the deposition mechanism at the tube surface and the particle and deposit sticking propensities. The deposition model will make use of  experimental data gained by advanced ash analysis methods like CC-SEM. The results will be verified with pilot scale experimental data.

The research project will be carried out in close co-operation with ECN ( Petten, The Netherlands) and CINAR (London, UK). The close co-operation requires that the Ph.D. student stays part of the time at ECN/Petten.  The PhD student can make use of a broad range of experimental methods and modelling tools as developed and used at the Section of Thermal Power Engineering.

Requirements for the PhD candidate:

  • Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or Applied Physics, finished with good results;
  • Interest in applied scientific research ;
  • Experience/interest in modeling and experimental work;
  • Well developed communicative skills;
  • Good proficiency in English (writing and speaking);
  • Enthusiasm and team spirit.

Applications and Inquiries

People who are interested in this Ph.D. position and who are fulfilling these requirements are invited to apply. Application letters and CV’s can be sent to:

Prof.Dr.-Ing. H. Spliethoff
TU Delft – Faculty OCP
Energy Technology
Mekelweg 2

Or by e-mail: h.spliethoff@wbmt.tudelft.nl.

Information can also be obtained from Prof. Dr.-Ing. H. Spliethoff:
Tel:  31 15  27 86071 or at the Energy Technology website at: