The Department of Environmental Industrial Processes (Miljø) is happy to announce that there are 3 openings to receive master students.
Please contact the researchers Antonio Oliveira or Ljubiša Gavrilović for further detail.
Project 1 – CO2 utilization to renewable fuels
Background: Today, the economic and societal development in the world are mainly dependent on fossil fuels. A central problem is the accumulation of a vast quantity of greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere, which has a substantial part in climate change. The production of renewable fuels is an attractive option to recycle CO2 while decreasing the global CO2 emissions and economically competing with more costly unconventional fossil fuels.
Scope and Objectives: The master thesis work will be focused on experimental materials development and characterization in the field of CO2 utilization to the production of renewable fuels. The process conditions will be studied and optimized to achieve the best performance regarding catalyst activity and the desired selectivity. The student should find relevant scientific literature and understand the core principles and concepts in heterogeneous catalysis and sorption enhanced reactions. Evaluation of the causes of possible deactivation will be assessed if needed. The students should be able to report scientific work concisely, both orally and in written form.
Recommended previous knowledge: Materials, heterogeneous catalysis, reaction kinetics, renewable energy, process engineering
Project 2 – Carbon-negative Hydrogen from biomass
Background: The International Energy Agency identifies that the current worldwide demand for “pure” hydrogen is around 70 million tonnes, where the main applications for this hydrogen are oil refining and ammonia production. A further 45 Mt of demand exists for hydrogen as part of a mixture of gases, such as synthesis gas, for fuel or feedstock.
On the downside, the overwhelming majority of hydrogen produced today is from fossil fuels, where less than 1% is produced from renewables or fossil fuel plants equipped with CCUS. Therefore, the production of hydrogen is responsible for CO2 emissions of around 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of the United Kingdom and Indonesia combined. Hence, Increase the share of renewable hydrogen, also known as green hydrogen, is fundamental to achieve the goals of carbon emission cut in other to contain global warming.
Scope and Objectives: This master thesis work comprises of experimental and process simulation study focused on the integration of biomass gasification with the catalytic process to convert syngas efficiently into hydrogen and capture the CO2.
The student is expected to gather appropriate scientific literature to comprehend the basics of biomass gasification; catalytic reacting process; and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS). The work is mostly focused on the process simulation, but one shall also perform experiments in a lab-scale fluidised bed reactor.
To conclude, the student is expected to report findings and analyse the sustainability of green hydrogen production, the carbon abatement potential, as well as the principles of CO2 capture, utilization and storage.
Recommended previous knowledge: Basic chemistry/physics, thermodynamics, catalytic process, process modelling, renewable energy, laboratory safety.
Project 3 – Waste to Green Hydrogen: Carbon-negative potential in producing green hydrogen from biogas
Background: Biogas produced from organic feedstock and residues/waste is a clean and renewable energy source that has a substantial contribution to the world’s increasing energy demand and, at the same time, contributes to reducing carbon footprints and emissions. It has been estimated that the application of upgraded biogas/biomethane (> 90% methane) for transportation allows a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the range of 60% to 80% depending on the feedstock used in comparison to gasoline. There is even a higher reduction potential when waste and residues are used instead of energy crops. The digestate residue produced during biogas production can be used as fertiliser or as feedstock for thermochemical conversion.
As far as traditional biogas upgrading (separation of CO2) is concerned, several technologies are commercially available. Moreover, there are advances in new technologies like in-situ methane enrichment and, as well as conversion into hydrogen by reforming. The latter is the main interest of this work as it presents a feasible possibility to increase the share of green hydrogen and can contribute to negative emissions if bioCO2 is stored.
Scope and Objectives: This master thesis comprises of experimental and process simulation study focused on upgrading hydrogen while capturing CO2 for storage or utilization.
The student is expected to gather appropriate scientific literature to comprehend the concepts of process simulation, anaerobic digestion, catalytic reacting process, and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS); as well as to gather data on biogas production in Norway. Besides, one shall perform experiments in a lab-scale fluidised bed reactor.
As a result, the student is expected to report findings, advantages, and disadvantages of producing green hydrogen from biogas. Also, one must calculate the potential of Norwegian biogas plants for producing carbon-negative green hydrogen.
Recommended previous knowledge:
Basic chemistry/physics, thermodynamics, catalytic process, process modelling, renewable energy, laboratory safety.
 IRENA (2017), Biogas for road vehicles: Technology brief, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi.