Postdoc position in Process Metallurgy with specialization in rare and strategic Metals’ Recycling using Hydrometallurgical techniques

Lulea University
July 31, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:fixed term employmen
Working Time:Full time
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Luleå University of Technology is in strong growth with world-leading competence in several research areas. We shape the future through innovative education and ground-breaking research results, and based on the Arctic region, we create global social benefit. Our scientific and artistic research and education are conducted in close collaboration with international, national and regional companies, public actors and leading universities. Luleå University of Technology has a total turnover of SEK 1.9 billion per year. We currently have 1,840 employees and 17,670 students.

In the coming years, multi-billion investments will be made in large projects in Northern Sweden to create a fossil-free society both nationally and globally. Luleå University of Technology is involved in several of these cutting-edge research projects and in the societal transformation that they entail. We offer a broad range of courses and study programmes to match the skills in demand. We hope that you will help us to build the sustainable companies and societies of the future.

In Process Metallurgy, we deal with the efficient extraction of metals via sustainable means from primary and secondary resources using the pyro and/or hydro metallurgical means. Currently, we are looking for a Postdoc in Sustainable Metal Recovery—Hydrometallurgy & Circular Economy under the subject of Process Metallurgy who, together with students and senior researchers, will conduct research works on the resource-efficient recovery of rare and strategic metals.

The postdoc position will be part of the research projects relevant to hydrometallurgical processing of different materials mainly from the waste generated by the anthropogenic activities. Notably, these projects are established in collaborations between Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and the Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability (WISE), funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Such collaborative research between LTU and WISE primarily aiming to perform materials science research at the international forefront to empower sustainable technologies with positive impact on society and to train future leaders in society, industry, and academia.

Subject description Process Metallurgy deals with the sustainable extraction of metals from primary and secondary raw materials using both pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical processes.

Project description This project is connected to the hydrometallurgical processes for circularity that leading towards the sustainability in rare and strategic metal extraction and recycling technologies. The Postdoctoral Fellow will play a central role to achieve the research goals by developing new extraction routes and process flowsheets using integrated hydrometallurgical techniques along with the low-carbon emission and reduced use of hazardous chemicals that provide highly efficient metals/compounds of high purity needed for their applications in particularly for the clean and green energy deployments. The technology and concepts will have applications to the industrial production subjected to pilot scale validations. Additionally, the underpinning of mass transport phenomenon, reaction kinetics and the influential role of prevailing parameters with the thermodynamics involved in the hydrometallurgical process, and the use of advanced characterization techniques will require for the fundamental studies. The assessment of environmental impacts using life-cycle analysis and determination of process sustainability within the circular economy domain is highly desirable for this project.

The specific involvements in the project are to: (i) develop a novel recycling process for the extraction of strategic and rare metals from different waste materials, (ii) investigate the integrated recycling techniques for efficient precursor synthesis for cathode and anode from rechargeable batteries of different chemistries, and (iii) evaluate the cradle-to-cradle and cradle-to-gate circularity of energy-critical elements.

This recruitment is connected to the Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability (WISE, WISE, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, is the largest-ever investment in materials science in Sweden and will encompass major efforts at Sweden's foremost universities over the course of 10 years. The vision is a sustainable future through materials science. Read more: https: // (WISE, https: //

All early-stage researchers recruited into the WISE program will be a part of the WISE Graduate School (https: // school/), an ambitious nationwide program of seminars, courses, research visits, and other activities to promote a strong multi-disciplinary and international network between PhD students, postdocs, researchers, and industry.

Duties Scientific research and education. The Postdoctoral Fellow is expected to independently perform the experimental and theoretical work within the specified research questions, report the results, instruct students, assist with project management, and take responsibility of funding applications within the focus areas of the group. The research will mainly perform at LTU in Luleå, but experiments/investigations with industrial partners can also be included.

The major responsibilities essentially include:

  • Integrated hydrometallurgical experiments mainly in terms of leaching, solvent extraction, precipitation, crystallization, electrowinning.
  • High-temperature roasting, carbothermal reduction, calcination, and product (or precursor) synthesis.
  • Thermodynamic calculations for metal speciation predominance diagrams.
  • Determination of mass transport phenomenon for knowing the chemical kinetics and multi-step reaction mechanisms.
  • Characterization of materials using various analytical equipment including XRD, SEM, XPS, etc.
  • Running of pilot-scale hydrometallurgical operations for up-scaling of the developed lab-scale processes, in particular the running of mixer settler units for the solvent extraction, and high-pressure leaching units.
  • Determination of carbon emission and environmental impacts of the extraction process for the evaluation of global warming potentials.
  • Evaluation of process sustainability and circular economy benefits of the recycling process.
  • Qualifications In order to be eligible for employment as post doctor you must have a PhD or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD in Process metallurgy, Metal recycling or equivalent.

    You are expected to have a good exposure with hydrometallurgical unit operations and experienced in primary metal recovery and recycling processes, in particular to deal with the critical, strategic, and rare earth elements. You should have hands-on experience in pilot-scale hydrometallurgical operations for up-scaling of the developed lab-scale processes, in particular the running of mixer settler units for the solvent extraction and high- pressure leaching techniques, and used to various analytical techniques like XRD, SEM, ICP, FT-IR, etc. Since the focus is on low-carbon circular economy of metals recovery for industrial use, the ability to perform life-cycle assessment along with global warming potential and sustainability evaluation, and industrial R&D exposure are highly imperative. You must have good publication records, and proficiency in written and spoken English.

    Further information Full-time fixed term employment for two years with placement in Luleå. Starting: as soon as possible.

    For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Sadia Ilyas, (+46)920-49 3905, [email protected]

    Union representatives: SACO-S Kjell Johansson (+46)920-49 1529 [email protected] OFR-S Lars Frisk, (+46)920-49 1792 [email protected]

    In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

    Application We prefer that you apply for this position by clicking on the apply button below . The application should include a CV, personal letter and copies of verified diplomas from high school and universities. Mark your application with the reference number below. Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish.

    Closing date for applications: July 31, 2024 Reference number: 2117-2024

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