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Supervision of Bachelor's and Master's theses

Interested in process engineering?

We offer supervision for bachelor's and master's theses in the field of process engineering.

Why a Bachelor or Master in Process Engineering? The "Young Process Engineers" created a brochure that offers an insight into the diverse and exciting tasks of a process engineer. Get more information!, opens a file (sorry, only in german available)

Inquire about current topics directly with Prof. Hlawitschka mark.hlawitschka(at)jku.at.



Recycle lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries have become an indispensable part of our everyday lives. At the end of their service life, the batteries can be used as a secondary source of raw materials. In addition to lithium, the elements cobalt and nickel are of particular interest. They are found in the active material of the rechargeable battery. Using chemical processes, the metals are first broken down and separated hydrometallurgically.

We offer bachelor theses on the following topics:

Recycling of lithium-ion batteries on a pilot scale extraction column

The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is crucial due to global warming. A shift of energy production to renewable sources and electrification of the transportation sector are intended to promote the achievement of the global climate goals.
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) show great potential for this purpose. They can be used for both grid storage and applications in electric vehicles, as they have a high-power density and energy efficiency. Regarding the effort needed and environmental impact from the extraction of raw materials for battery production from primary sources, the recycling of end-of-life LIBs is a nonnegotiable obligation and therefore subject to recent research.

The recycling of lithium-ion batteries is one of the research activities of the Institute of Process Engineering at JKU. Our focus is the separation of value materials of the active material. After a leaching process, elements such as cobalt,
manganese, and nickel are present in the aqueous phase.
Reactive solvent extraction is used to separate those metals. In your project, the extraction is to be performed in a pilot plant scale. For this purpose, a Kühni column is to be optimized with regard to extraction yield and selectivity. This requires conducting operating a pilot scale column, analyzing samples and documenting your results.
Your skills/ Our requirements

  • Field of studies: chemistry, chemical engineering, process engineering, or similar
  • Excellent theoretical knowledge in solvent extraction and process engineering
  • Practical experience in chemical laboratories and analytical chemistry
  • Independent and solution oriented working style
  • Ability to work in a team

Supervisor: Dr.-Ing. Alexander Keller

Start: from now

Duration: 3 - 6 months

If your are interested please contact the supervisor.

Electrolysis of lithium-ion batteries

The aim of this work is to set up and commission a trainer for investigating the electrolysis of active material. The trainer will be used to investigate parameters such as voltage, current intensity and current density on the yield of metals (Li, Co, Mn, Ni).

  • Construction of a trainer for the electrolysis of lithium-ion batteries
  • First examination of operating parameters
    • Voltage
    • Acid concentration
  • Validation of the test results
  • Optimization of the test stand

Supervisor: Dr.-Ing. Alexander Keller

This bachelor thesis will be offered starting in May 2022.

If you are interested please contact the supervisor.



Proper design of stirred tanks, separators or various reactors

Currently we are looking for a student to perform and extend various Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations with previous experience in programming or the interest to learn programming (C++). The goal is to describe process engineering phenomena such as coalescence and phase transition. The description of these phenomena is relevant to accurately describe and design stirred tanks, separators as well as various reactors. The implementation of the phenomena is done in an open source code (OpenFOAM). The work can be done directly at the PCs of the institute, but also as home work.



Please contact: Mark Hlawitschka

[Translate to Englisch:] Apparatur


Power-to-gas in biological bubble columns

Power-to-gas aims to provide technologies for the energy future that are capable of storing renewable
energies efficiently. One of this methods is methanisation of the greenhouse gas CO2 and electrolytic
hydrogen, since methane has great energy values and good storability. In addition to catalytic
methanation, the focus is shifting to biological methanation using archaea. In this process,
methanation takes place at comparatively low temperatures. The frequently used stirred tank is well
researched, but has severe downsides, like additional energy input and low mass transfer.

More info in pdf.

with industry support and employment

Heat-to-Tail carbon processing: from cement flue gas to hydrocarbons

The cement production releases approximately 0.6 tons CO2 per ton cement. Rohrdorfer, opens an external URL in a new window, a local supplier of cement in Upper Austria and Bavaria, reduces these emissions from “unavoidable-classified” 500kt per anno to net zero. Thus to reach this ambitious goals, we seek a candidate to develop with our net-zero-emission team a head-to-tail carbon capture and utilization miniplant as preparation for a larger industry pilot at scale of 1 ton CO2 per day. Central aim is to engineer and monitor the carbon capture and electrolysis and to optimize Faraday, CO2- and energy efficiencies. The practical work will be focused on engineering, modeling and in-field testing & documentation of the miniplant such that we are able to implement the pilot. The work will be carried out at the JKU in Linz and the Zementwerk Hatschek in Gmunden. This miniplant is its first-of-a-kind carbon capture and utilization plant in Austria´s energy-intense industry.

The master-thesis will be funded by Rohrdorfer , opens an external URL in a new window(employment included).

Candidates may apply to: Mark Hlawitschka (JKU, mark.hlawitschka(at)jku.at) or to

Philipp Stadler, Carbon Processing & CCX, Philipp.stadler(at)rohrdorfer.eu




Desalination via membrane destillation

Membrane distillation for desalination is an attractive research topic worldwide.
This technology for water treatment, especially for desalination of seawater and highly saline industrial waste streams using low-carbon energy sources, such as low-carbon waste heat or solar energy.
A topic of the future!


  • Scientific processing of the membrane distillation crystallisation project (MDC).
  • Carrying out investigations on fractional crystallisation and characterisation of NaCl, CaCO3 and MgSO4.
  • Investigate nucleation and growth kinetics in the presence of seeds in AGMDC.
  • Determination of suitable operating conditions to control the shape, size, size distribution and polymorphism of crystals in a metastable concentration/temperature zone.
  • Set-up of the MDC facility.
  • Extensive measurements at the MDC facility.

You are also welcome to develop a research topic (e.g. for a student research project or doctoral thesis).

For further information, please contact  Prof. Mark Hlawitschka.


Illustration of a membrane distillation plant for desalination