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Determination of optimal process parameters to enhance methanogenic activities in underground gas storages
Angebot online seit:
Di 31 Mai 2022
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IFA Tulln


The working group Geobiotechnology and Environmental Chemistry (Andreas P. Loibner) at

IFA-Tulln is currently looking for a motivated and curious student of biotechnology or a related

field of study, who is willing to join the group to accomplish her/his master thesis.

Our main research is concerned with developing storage technologies for renewable energy.

One of these technologies is called geo-methanation, a biocatalytic process carried out by

methanogenic archaea in depleted underground gas storages, which allows the conversion of

green hydrogen (generated by electrolysis of water) and carbon dioxide to renewable

methane. Our ongoing FFG project Underground Sun Conversion - Flexible Storage

investigates the effects of alternating substrate concentrations on geo-methanation rates

with the scope of process optimization and ultimately the industrial roll-out of this technology.

Research topic:

The main focus of this master thesis revolves around conducting experiments in high-pressure

anaerobic bioreactors, mimicking the extreme condition of underground natural gas storages.

Selected gas mixtures with varying substrate compositions (e.g. carbon dioxide and hydrogen)

will be applied to assess the effects on the methanogenic microbiome structure and its

biochemical activities. Additionally, smaller scale experiments in serum bottles may inform

about critical process parameters, which will be considered for future experimental setups.

A wide range of state-of-the-art analytical and molecular methods such as GC, μGC, HPLC,

RT-qPCR, NGS, etc. will be applied within the framework of this master thesis.