This project is part of Chalmers Energy Initiative and placed at the Division of Heat and Power Technology within the Department of Energy and Environment.
Chalmers’ Energy Initiative covers all three areas of a) Energy combines (or biorefinery1 ), b) Electric propulsion systems and hybrid vehicles and c) Large-scale renewable electricity generation and grid integration and builds upon our competitive edge regarding the main technologies in the three areas and our unique expertise in systems studies.
Biorefinery concepts are currently of high interest for the process industry, particularly the pulp and paper sector. Biorefinery processes allow the conversion of renewable biomass resources to a variety of products including transportation fuels, electricity, heat, materials or chemicals. A rapid introduction of biomass-based energy combines presents major challenges for technology development throughout the production chain, from feedstock to final products, and for appropriate integration of the plants in the energy system. Chalmers’ excellence includes technological expertise in combustion and gasification, chemical processes in the forest product industry as well as process integration and industrial systems analysis. Process integration and system analyses will help identify more efficient and profitable processes.
As the overall aim of research within the Heat and Power Technology Division is to develop and spread knowledge concerning industrial process energy engineering with specific focus on efficient biomass usage (including biorefineries), energy efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction opportunities in industrial processes, the main research area within the PhD position will be to study process integration opportunities in different new biorefinery concepts (particularly within biomass utilization). This will enable possibilities to identify energy saving measures, and efficient integration within the components of and between the base process (e.g. a process industry) and the biorefinery process for energy saving and environmental reasons. Concepts to develop will be identified in cooperation with other research groups within Chalmers Energy Initiative and with the national institute Innventia. An example of such concepts can be various paths to biomass pre-treatment and gasification which may lead to different alternatives for process integration and various products. The work will include simulation, optimization and process integration of conventional and new process and energy components.
1 Different terminology is used in the literature are: energy combines, bio combines, polygeneration and biorefinery.