A PhD position is available at the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Chemical Engineering), in close collaboration with FLSmidth Minerals. FLSmidth A/S is a leading supplier of equipment and services to the global cement and minerals industries.
FLSmidth Minerals is developing new technologies for hydrometallurgical treatment of copper sulfides for metal production. The FLSmidth® Rapid Oxidative Leach (ROL) process has consistently achieved 98+ % copper recovery in 6 hrs. or less under atmospheric conditions. This emerging technology represents an exciting new direction in terms of simplicity and ability to outperform existing process technologies.
Several aspects of the new ROL process need further investigation in order to better understand the underlying chemical and physical mechanisms. Exciting opportunities are available for the PhD student to pursue an inter-disciplinary course of study and research with the opportunity of working alongside scientists and engineers at DTU in Denmark, and at FLSmidth Minerals Research Test Facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
Responsibilities and tasks
The work will involve various aspects of chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, fluid dynamics, geology, thermodynamics, and material science. It is expected that a Ph.D.-degree in this field, will serve to equip the student for a broad range of opportunities in many global industry sectors applying these disciplines.
The FLSmidth® Rapid Oxidative Leach (ROL) process) basically comprises a two-stage leach process: A reductive activation stage, which only partially leaches iron from chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), precedes an oxidative dissolution stage which leaches the remaining iron and copper and produces a solid reaction product of elemental sulfur (S8). The activation stage is unique to the ROL process, and a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the surface reactions of activated and leached chalcopyrite particles is needed.
The working title of the PhD project is “Surface characterization of activated chalcopyrite particles”.
The aim of the PhD project is to disclose the mechanisms involved in the surface reactions of activated and leached chalcopyrite particles. In particular, the structural details of (1) the activated and leached chalcopyrite particles, and (2) phase identification & determination of lattice parameters, such as bond lengths, are main research topics of the project.
This project will use multiple, surface and bulk, material characterization techniques, such as:
•Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
•X-ray Diffraction Analysis (XRD)
•Time-Of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), and
•X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
•Electronic surface conductivity measurements using a nano-probe technique
to explore, and better elucidate, the structural details of activated and leached chalcopyrite particles, identify phases, and determine lattice parameters, such as bond lengths.
Design and conduction of relevant leaching experiments and mathematical modeling of the ROL process (reaction engineering models) are other important areas of the work.
The applicant should preferably have qualifications within several of the above listed work areas.
The work will be conducted in close collaboration between DTU Chemical Engineering and FLSmidth Minerals, and research stays at FLSmidth Minerals Research Test Facilities in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, is an integrated part of the project.
Candidates should have a master's degree in chemical engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering. Further qualifications:
•Experience with planning and conduction of experimental work
•Experience with material characterization methods
•Excellent communication skills (oral and writing) in English
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher Anne Juul Damø and Senior Advisor Jytte Boll Illerup.
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.
Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.
You can read more about DTU Chemical Engineeirng here.
Please submit your online application no later than 15 November 2015. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
•A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
•Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (an official translation into English)
•Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.
DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and public service. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,300 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.