Senior Chemical Engineer/Scientist (Strong Acid Minimisation)
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Type: Full Time
The annual salary range for this position is EUR60,000-90,000, and will depend on many factors including experience, education, and expertise. We also offer a competitive benefits package with generous employee equity options, health insurance and pension contributions.
About the role
The Chemical Engineer/Scientist will work on the minimisation of ‘strong’ acids in soils selected for carbon dioxide removal through terrestrial enhanced weathering. The Chemical Engineer/Scientist’s primary goal will be to minimise the impact of protons arising from non-carbonic acid generation during weathering through a programme of innovative research. The position will be based in our Dublin lab, and may require regular visits to local fields sites as well as some international travel.
Carbon dioxide removal through terrestrial enhanced weathering requires naturally occurring carbonic acid in soils to be the primary driver of mineral or rock amendment weathering. In intensive agricultural systems, however, ‘strong’ acids can occur as a result of nitrification and other proton generating reactions arising from chemical or organic fertiliser use. Chemical weathering of soil amendments by non-carbonic acidity can release cations that are balanced by nitrate or other anionic species that suppress the production of the required dissolved bicarbonate. Finding solutions to this challenge has the potential to dramatically improve the efficiency of enhanced weathering for carbon dioxide removal on a large scale, meaning that your work could have broad and far-reaching impacts.
Development of novel approaches for the neutralization of strong acids in soils
Field sampling followed by laboratory measurement of soil parameters
Good understanding of soil parameters such as cation exchange capacity and lime requirement
Familiarity with protocols for the quantification of acid neutralization value of materials
Development of protocols for the rapid assessment of strong acid risks
Interpretation of quantitative inorganic geochemical data for soils and soil waters
Development of models to quantify rates of fertilizer-related acidification in soils
Liaising with landowners to ensure safe access to sites
PhD in soil science or low-temperature geochemistry with relevant experience
Excellent understanding of fertilisers and their impact on soils
Excellent geospatial and GIS skills
Adaptability and ability to work in a dynamic environment
While we are looking for someone with these skills, you do not need to have all of the listed qualifications to be a brilliant addition to our team. If you have not worked on this specific research topic, but feel that your chemical engineering, geochemistry or soil science expertise could help us to push the frontier on this breakthrough carbon dioxide removal research, please consider applying.
Silicate is a terrestrial enhanced weathering company headquartered in Ireland, with operations in the US and Ireland. We remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via the acceleration of a natural geological process – the weathering of silicate, carbonate and hydroxide minerals contained in milled surplus concrete that is added to soils as an alkaline amendment. Our pioneering work measuring weathering and carbon removal in the field has given us valuable insights into the measurement of carbon drawdown from enhanced weathering, and clear visibility on how to reliably and safely scale the pathway to become a genuine carbon dioxide removal solution.