Open ESR position at KTH Stockholm in ETN NEW-MINE

The EU Training Network for Resource Recovery Through Enhanced Landfill Mining (EU Horizon 2020 MSCA-ETN NEW-MINE) is urgently looking for a pyrolysis expert to start a Licentiate Thesis at KTH Stockholm (Sweden). The working title for the thesis is “Solar-driven thermochemical conversion of RDF – Thermodynamic/kinetic analyses and heat/mass transfer modelling”. Applicants need to fulfil the Early Stage Researcher conditions set by the European Commission. Interested researchers can upload their application in the on-line, eligibility-proof recruitment system at (PTJ, Leuven, 10/10/2018)


The project studies pyrolysis of RDF as one of the processes occurring in the thermochemical conversion in solar-driven pyrolysis/gasification of RDF. Understanding the performance of RDF pyrolysis can help in the design and optimisation of the thermochochemical conversion process, allowing flexibility of ELFM feedstock delivered to the thermochemical conversion process. The project is well integrated in the work of the work package, in which ESR8 studies the supply of solar energy to the system, ESR5 studies the gasification and ESR6 studies the syngas cleaning.


To experimentally explore the possibility of producing valuable energy and materials from excavated landfill waste through pyrolysis process.




Expected Results

  • Insights in the suitability of recovering energy and materials from RDF generated from landfills by pyrolysis
  • To understand the products formation, such as pyro-vapours, and solid residue of pyrolysis of RDF generated from landfills
  • Energy and mass balance of pyrolysis of the RDF from landfills.

Planned secondments

KU Leuven (2 months): lab trials to perform plasma cracking of tar/char from pyrolysis (with Prof. Lieve Helsen)


  • A licentiate degree from KTH (2 year study)
  • 2 papers: 1 journal and 1 conference paper

S/T milestones

  • Pyrolysis production characteristion of the pyrolysis of different fractions after excavated landfill waste
  • Understand the suitability of pyrolysis as a conversion technology for different fractions after landfills sorting


KTH (Dr. Weihong Yang) []



Eligibility criteria

MSCA applicants need to respect three eligibility criteria:

  1. Early-stage researchers (ESR)are those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date when they obtained the degree which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate was envisaged.
  2. Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.
  3. English language:Network fellows (ESRs) must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training.

Benefits and salary

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months (i.e. EC funding, additional funding is possible, depending on local Supervisor). In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.


ETN NEW-MINE logoEurope has somewhere between 150,000 and 500,000 landfill sites, with an estimated 90% of them being “non-sanitary” landfills, predating the EU Landfill Directive of 1999. These older landfills tend to be filled with municipal solid waste and often lack any environmental protection technology. In order to avoid future environmental and health problems, many of these landfills will soon require expensive remediation measures. This situation might appear bleak, but it does present us with an exciting opportunity for a combined resource-recovery and remediation strategy, which will drastically reduce future remediation costs, reclaim valuable land, while at the same time unlocking valuable resources. However, the widespread adoption of Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM) in the EU, as envisaged by NEW-MINE, urgently requires skilled scientists, engineers, economists and policy makers who can develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly ELFM practices and regulatory frameworks. All this demands a European commitment to concerted, inter- and transdisciplinary research and innovation. NEW-MINE trains 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in all aspects of landfill mining, in terms of both technological innovation and multi-criteria assessments. The technological innovation follows a value-chain approach, from advanced landfill exploration, mechanical processing, plasma/solar/hybrid thermochemical conversion and upcycling, while the multi-criteria assessment methods allow to compare combined resource-recovery/remediation ELFM methods with the “Do-Nothing”, “Classic remediation” and “Classic landfill mining with (co-)incineration” scenarios. By training the ESRs in scientific, technical and soft skills, they become highly sought-after scientists and engineers for the rapidly emerging landfill-mining and broader raw-materials industries of Europe.


The NEW-MINE project has received funding from the European Union’s EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under Grant Agreement No 721185.