Postdoctoral Researcher Position to work on “Catalytic conversion of butanediol into jet-fuel range hydrocarbons via dehydration-oligomerization-hydrogenation pathway"

IMDEA Energy Institute is a María de Maeztu Center of Excellence whose objective is to develop R&D activities in the fields of renewable energies and clean energy technologies by establishing strong links with leading companies in the energy sector. (


IMDEA Energy is opening a postdoctoral researcher position for the Thermochemical Processes Unit, looking for talented and motivated candidates with strong background in heterogeneous catalysis, for mainly the preparation of new catalysts and their catalytic testing for the conversion of 2,3-BDO into Jet Fuel-range hydrocarbons in the research line belonging to the BIOCTANE project.

The BIOCTANE project, a European project recently granted in the call topic “Hybrid catalytic conversion of renewable energy to carbon-neutral fuels” (HORIZON-CL5-2021-D3-03-03), aims the “sustainable conversion of organic waste streams from agriculture, industry and municipalities via integration of smart biotechnological and thermochemical conversion steps to market-ready renewable jet-fuel”.  Within this project, which is coordinated by IMDEA Energy, the Thermochemical Process Unit will be focused on the development of the proof of concept of one-pot reaction processes for the direct conversion of the platform molecules, in particular 2,3-butadienol (2,3-BDO), into a pool of hydrocarbons suitable for the formulation of jet-fuel, via dehydration-oligomerization and hydrogenation reactions.

Tasks Description:

  • Monitoring of the state of the art of the fundamentals and technological advances related to the project.
  • Synthesis and full characterization of catalysts based on zeolites or oxides modified with functionalities for dehydration, oligomerization or hydrogenation reactions.
  • Adjustment of the reaction system and screening the activity of catalysts.
  • Discussion and critical analysis of the experimental results.
  • Communicate and disseminate research results through high-quality scientific channels including high impact scientific publications, presentation in congresses, etc.
  • Supervision of PhD, Master or undergraduate students. 
  • Participation in the preparation of project reports.

Compulsory Requirements

  • PhD degree in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or equivalent, completed in the last 6 years.
  • Experience and solid background on at least one of these topics: a) synthesis of zeolite-based catalysts and their characterization techniques (e.g.: powder XRD, gas-physisorption, acidity determination, microscopies (TEM, SEM), TGA, etc.); b) setup and operation of reaction systems for the conversion of alcohol to liquid fuels via dehydration-oligomerization or related processes.

Other merits to value:

  • Experience on operating pressurized reaction systems and/or involving flammable gases (light HCs or H2).
  • Experienced in national and international research projects and collaborations.
  • Publications in indexed relevant journals.
  • Appreciated experience on mentoring or supervising students.
  • Oral and written communication skills in English.
Selection Criteria
  • Adequacy of the candidate's training to the requested profile.
  • Work experience related to the profile of the job position.
  • Motivation for accomplishing high-quality research.
  • Knowledge of English.

Remuneration: Between 36.000€ – 39.000€ Gross Salary per year, depending upon qualification and expertise.

*The contract includes all the benefits of the Spanish Public Health and Social Security System.

Duration of the contract: One-year renewable appointment depending on performance.


IMDEA Energía: Móstoles, Madrid.


Final decisions will be personally communicated by e-mail to all candidates.