EU funded project – Chemical Engineering degree or similar

Project Description:

The European poultry sector generates 3.6 million tonnes of waste feathers each year, of which only around 25% are collected separately and valorised. We are aiming to valorise this waste stream and design a new economically and environmentally sustainable value chain. Since feathers contain nearly 90% keratin, the innovative materials arising from this new value chain will present additional advantages at the end of the product’s life: keratin-based materials are targeted to be zero waste and allow for controlled biodegradability, while also enriching soils with organic nitrogen.
Under this project, the pilot scaled newly developed processes will be simulated at a commercial scale in order to assess their performance in a real operational scenario. Process simulations will be performed using process simulation tools (e.g Aspen, BIOSTEM) to predict behaviours of the pilot-scale and to scale-up the processes and predict manufacturing scale outputs, material and energy-balance reports, at the time that performs economic analysis. In the second part of the project, the technological, economic and environmental potential of an emerging green chemical technology at the different stages of technology development will be assessed. This ETEA Framework (Environmental Techno- Economic Assessment Framework) will be used as a guideline for prospective technology assessment.

Objectives are:

• Modelling and simulating the production processes for keratin extraction and processing
• Optimizing the process conditions to improve efficiency and reduce costs
• Performing process simulations to predict performance and identify areas for improvement
• Using Aspen Software’s advanced process analysis and optimization tools to improve the overall sustainability of the production processes
• Supporting the development of new and innovative keratin-based products by modeling and simulating their production processes
• Assisting with the scale-up of production by simulating and optimizing production plants at different scales
• Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC)

Key Qualifications:

• Chemical Engineering degree or similar
• Experience in the application of process simulation/modelling techniques (applying kinetics and thermodynamics to unit operations using tools such as MATLAB and Aspen or chemometric analysis).
• Proficient in use of Engineering Software (e.g Aspen, BIOSTEM)
• Process modelling experience (MATLAB)
• Proven process engineering design experience with technical safety and environmental aspects
• A self-motivated, proactive individual with high achievement drive and initiative

If you are interested in joining the project team you can send an email to Dr. Sahand Hosouli at