Master Thesis: Power to methanol for CO2-reduction

Application Deadline
Contract Type

Vattenfall Research and Development (R&D) contributes to the development of tomorrow’s energy system. R&D mission is to provide the best options and innovations for sustainable business at Vattenfall. The master thesis is part of the R&D portfolio Industry Decarbonization.

Vattenfall’s strategy is to to help our customers to live free from fossil fuels within one generation. Since the majority of the Swedish green house gas (GHG) emissions originate from the industry and the transport sector, there is an ongoing focus on drastically reducing GHG-emissions in basic industries such as steel and cement manufacturing, as well as refineries in order to obtain an increased usage of renewable fuels in transportation.
Another interesting route to reduced GHG-emissions is to produce methanol from carbon dioxide and electrically generated hydrogen (electrolysis). Methanol is an important feedstock to the chemical industry, but can also be used as a renewable drop-in fuel for transportation. Using renewable electricity for the electrolysis and carbon dioxide from a biological source will create bio-methanol, but also so called e-methanol produced from non-biological CO2-sources is an interesting means to reduce CO2-emissions. Another aspect of the power-to-methanol process is the potential for energy storage.

The current master thesis project intends to cover a wide range of questions related to the power-to-methanol process as part of a feasibility study. Issues to cover are for example:

• An overview of methanol and its applications.
• Processes for methanol production.
• State-of-the-Art regarding different types of green methanol.
• Review of ongoing research on green methanol and a survey of existing and planned pilot, demonstration and commercial plants.
• Operational experiences from existing plants.
• A compilation of existing CO2-sources in Sweden that could be suitable for methanol production.
• Costs and market outlook (estimated costs for producing green methanol, potential market volumes and market prices for green methanol etc.)
The study can be supplemented with a computational part including process simulations (primarily mass and energy balances) for production of green methanol.

We believe that this assignment will be conducted by one or two students with an education in Energy Systems, Chemistry, Physics or similar. Experience from process simulations (e.g. Ebsilon) is a merit.

The scope of the thesis is 30 HP.
The work is expected to start in January 2018 and is to be conducted at Vattenfall’s office in Älvkarleby or Solna.

We welcome your application, including resume, cover letter and list of your grades via the application button at this page.
Last day to apply is December 6, 2017. The recruitment process is expected to be finalized before Christmas.

Anders Wik,, 070-539 6151
Johan Westin,, 070-511 7466

Last updated: 2017-11-13 21:45