Doctoral student for Bioplastic Production from Waste Streams: Sweden

KTH Royal Institute of Technology offers Doctoral scholarship.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Chemical Engineering

Transition into a circular economy is imperative to reach key goals in the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Addressing this challenge includes development of the next generation carbon-neutral wastewater treatment technologies to turn carbon-rich waste streams into new bio-based chemicals and materials.

Production of bioplastics from carbon rich waste streams can be a future sustainable alternative to conventional petrochemical-based plastic production. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are building blocks of bioplastics and can be synthesized by microorganisms using various carbon sources (substrates). Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA), which can be produced e.g. from municipal wastewater, are viable low-cost substrate candidates.

The aim of the PhD project is to demonstrate a zero-waste strategy that turns municipal wastes, into functional carbon sources. The specific aims are to develop a microbial consortium for highly efficient PHA production from SCFA-rich streams and to develop a feasible PHA extraction method. The findings will provide the opportunity to elevate the developed technology from lab-scale to pilot-scale.

The project will be a collaboration between the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Gene Technology at the School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health. The project will be connected to other on-going research projects at the two departments.

What we offer


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § högskoleförordningen), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.

A suitable background for this position is a Master of Science degree in microbiology, chemistry, environmental biotechnology, chemical engineering or related fields.


In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.

In addition, the candidate should have good oral and written communication skills in English, be highly motivated for doing scientific research and have well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills as well as an interest and curiosity for multi-disciplinary problems in the context of environmental science, microbiology and chemistry.

Further details
Share this opportunity