There is currently one open position in the project:

ESR 07: Solvent Extraction In Flow With Ultrasound/Microwaves
Objectives: To investigate the extraction of critical metals in flow reactors. To study the effects of ultrasound and microwaves on solvent extraction with non-aqueous fluids such as ionic liquids. To understand the potential of solvent extraction applied in flow reactors and actuated by alternative energy forms. Proof-of-principle that critical metals can be extracted in continuous flow reactors. Enhanced extraction rates achieved by the application of flow, ultrasound and microwaves, compared to conventional mixer-settler extraction.
Host: University of Leuven (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Lead Supervisor: Prof. Tom Van Gerven (KU Leuven,

The Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems (ProcESS) unit is a dynamic research group in the Department of Chemical Engineering at KU Leuven, consisting of 4 professors and ca. 40 highly motivated researchers. Focus of the research group is on intensification of chemical processes, the group is a world-leader in this domain. More information on ProCESS can be found on:


You will be working in a running project on the transition of solvent extraction mixer-settlers to flow reactors that ar actuated by ultrasound and/or microwaves. Focus is on the extraction of metals from leaching solutions. The work comprises of chemical experiments, optical imaging of fluid dynamics and reactor design. The work is part of an ongoing European project (MSCA-ITN) and collaboration with other European universities as well as industrial companies is foreseen. The project fits into the overarching objective of the ProcESS unit to improve chemical processes by using alternative energy forms in continuous flow systems.

More information: see

For the ESR positions of the ETN SOCRATES, MSCA applicants need to respect three eligibility criteria:

a) 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.
b) 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.
c) 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.


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