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ITC 02-21 Master Thesis Pyrolysis of biogenic residues: The effect of solids residence time on Phosphorus Recycling potential

Organizational unit

Institute for Technical Chemistry (ITC)

Job description

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient and a major economic factor. EU covers its demands by importing phosphate rock listed as critical raw material due to its scarce resource. Recycling of Phosphorus from secondary resources like sewage sludge, animal and biomass residues could act as an important pool.

Thermal treatement of such biogenic residues is proposed as an efficient P recycling alternative. However the value of the Phosphorus recovered is dependent on the degree of compliance to the requirements of the respective market with the fertilizer beeing the dominant one. One important aspect not yet fully understood is the influence and the interrelation between P-rich biogenic residues and the properties of its thermal degredation product to be used as fertilizer. In this frame ITC is exploring the thermal treatment process of biomass pyrolysis and its potential of producing a valuable P-fertilizer product.

The main focus of this thesis is the investigation of the influence of the solids residence time on the transformation of organic phosphorus and its effect in plants. Experiments will take place at a pilot scale pyrolysis reactor at KIT/ITC. The original phopshate form, interactions with other metals, minerals and salts as well as the effect on the resulting biochar to be used as fertilizer has to be investigated. The materials to be tested are biomass residues and/or chicken manure.

The thesis can be written in both Englisch and German Language.

Starting date

as soon as possible

Personal qualification

  • You have background in Chemistry/ Materia/ Bio-Science/ Process Engineering or equivalent
  • You have basic experience and interest in working on high temperature processes and facilities
  • You are highly motivated in working on material and process characterisation

Contract duration

6 months, can be extended

Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dr.-Ing. Glykeria Duelli, email:

Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number ITC 02-21.

Ausschreibungsnummer: ITC 02-21

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.


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