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Post-doctoral position in the area of biochar water treatment (80%)

School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR)
Institute of Construction and Environmental Technologies

Closing Date
WorkplaceFribourg, North Romandie, Switzerland
Occupation rate80%
Job StartJune 2019

The School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR) is a member institution of the Uni- versity of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (HES-SO) offering multilingual study programs at the BA and MA levels. The HEIA-FR’s iTEC institute (Institute of Construction and Environmental Technologies) invites applications to fill the position of:

Post-doctoral position in the area of biochar water treatment (80%)


Mission and Scope of Activities
The removal of micropollutants is a legal requirement for water treatment plants. The most commonly used purification techniques are activated carbon (AC) adsorption and ozonation, or a combination of both. Another matter of rising importance is the treatment of micropollutants in surface water before infiltration and groundwater recharge. Because of these growing treatment needs, many tons of AC will soon be consumed yearly at the national scale. Recent studies, however, have shown that biochars made from local biomasses can be a viable and more desirable alternative to AC.

The goals of this project are:
  • To develop a production protocol for biochars made from wood byproduct biomasses. These biochars should be capable of depuration performances equivalent to or better than AC
  • To evaluate the depuration performances of the developed biochar on site
The project will be carried out in close collaboration with French universities and public/private partners involved in the SylvO project. Coordinating the project is a scientific committee constituted by SylvO academic members. The project involves lab work as well as fieldwork, and will take place in the following stages:
  • Biochar production
  • Characterization of global and fine surface biochar properties (adsorption capacities in simple and complex media, surface reactivity ...)
  • In situ testing of adsorption capacity
  • Publication of results and participation in outreach activities
Note: fieldwork for this project will be carried out in close collaboration with partners from the professional sector (i.e. non-scientific organizations).


  • PhD in earth sciences, environmental sciences or geochemistry
  • Lab work and fieldwork skills
  • Some experience working with surface property- and surface reactivity characterization methods
  • Capacity to work rigorously and autonomously; interest in working on applied sciences in collaboration with non-scientific partners
  • Previous experience in the field of biochar use or production is an advantage
  • Ability to work with French-speaking non-academic partners

Contact and Address

Additional information
  • Fixed-term employment contract: 18 months. Duration or employment rate may be increased for French or German speakers who become involved in academic activities.
  • For details, contact Prof. Dr. Fabienne Favre Boivin, iTEC institute, tel. +41 26 429 66 87
  • Job starting date: June 2019
  • Application deadline: April 28, 2019
Interested? Send in your complete application (cover letter, CV, publication list, and reference letters from at least two qualified professionals) by clicking on the Apply («Postuler») button below.

The HEIA-FR is committed to an equal opportunity recruitment policy


Warning: this advert is not valid anymore.
In your application, please refer to myScience.org and reference JobID 1010986.

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