Institution: Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry
Salary level: EGR. 13 TV-L
Start date: 01.09.2023, fixed until 31.08.2026 (This is a fixed-term contract in accordance with Section 2 of the academic fixed-term labor contract act [Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz, WissZeitVG]).
Application deadline: 2023-05-15
Scope of work: part-time
Weekly hours: 50 % of standard work hours per week
Duties include academic services in the project named above. Research associates may also pursue independent research and further academic qualifications. They may also pursue doctoral studies outside of working duties.
The five-year project “BioValCat” (Enhanced Biomass Valorisation by Engineering of Polyoxometalate Catalysts), funded by the ERC Consolidator Grant 2022, aims to enable 100% carbon efficiency from complex biomass by developing innovative POM catalyst-solvent systems for aerobic and anaerobic applications and to develop this into an innovative and widely applicable process technology.
Polyoxometalates (POMs), as a unique class of anionic polynuclear metal-oxo clusters with high structural diversity at the atomic level, are highly promising candidates for the selective oxidation of biomass to organic acids. In the field of homogeneously catalysed, selective biomass conversion, POMs are already used intensively. One example for the potential of POMs is the already commercialised OxFA process, in which biomass is oxidatively converted to formic acid in aqueous systems.
Recent research has shown that POM catalysts can completely suppress the undesired total oxidation to CO2 under oxidative conditions when methanol is used as a (co-)solvent. Manipulating molecular catalysts such as POMs in solution by tuning the solvent properties and gas atmospheres introduces a new paradigm in homogeneous-catalysed biomass valorisation technologies. The proposed BioValCat project aims for developing this technology towards an industrial viable biomass valorisation process by laying the foundations for a scalable, safe and economic process for the oxidation of biomass to valuable carboxylic acid esters.
A particular focus of the position advertised here is the investigation of conversion pathways for selected model substrates in various alcohol/water mixtures to clarify the reaction mechanisms taking place both under oxygen and nitrogen atmosphere. Besides the catalyst-solvent interactions, also the substrate-solvent interactions will be investigated. The clarification of the mechanism and a detailed interpretation of the species formation depending on nature and amount of alcohol as co-solvent in aqueous solution will be achieved by suitable analytical methods (e.g. NMR, GC-MS, HPLC).
A university degree in a relevant field.
This position is preferably suitable for employees with a university degree in chemistry with a focus on analytics. Experience of working in chemical laboratories and previous knowledge of chemical reaction engineering and/or technical chemistry is desirable. Experience in working with (high) pressure systems as well as with oxygen and the associated safety education/training is also an advantage.
Reliable remuneration based on wage agreements
Continuing education opportunities
Flexible working hours
Work-life balance opportunities
Reduced rates available for a HVV-Proficard (transit pass) and much more
30 days of vacation per annum
As a University of Excellence, Universität Hamburg is one of the strongest research universities in Germany. As a flagship university in the greater Hamburg region, it nurtures innovative, cooperative contacts to partners within and outside academia. It also provides and promotes sustainable education, knowledge, and knowledge exchange locally, nationally, and internationally.
Severely disabled and disabled applicants with the same status will receive preference over equally qualified non-disabled applicants.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jakob Albert
+49 40 42838-4209
Dr.-Ing. Dorothea Voß
+49 40 42838-4202
Send us your complete application documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of degree certificate[s] and if necessary ID attesting to your disability or proof of equivalent status) via the online application form only.
If you experience technical problems, send an email to .
More information on in selection procedures.