PhD Student Sorption Enhanced Ammonia Production

PhD Student Sorption Enhanced Ammonia Production

Published Deadline Location
1 Jun 30 Jun Eindhoven

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PhD Student for the project HyStrAM: Hydrogen Storage and TRansport using Ammonia (Sustainable Process Engineering Group)

Job description

Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
The Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry is one of the nine departments of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) established in 1957. The department has approximately 500 employees, 16 full professors, 370 undergraduate students and
about 170 graduate students (140 PhD and 30 design engineers). The department aspires to be an academic institution for education and research in chemical science and engineering that meets the highest international standards. The aim is to generate and to develop technology and scientific knowledge relevant for the long-term needs of society. Scientific curiosity and the use of newly generated knowledge are the main driving forces for the continuing enhancements of the three chosen fields of expertise: molecular, materials, and sustainable process engineering.

Project background
Hydrogen is an important factor in the EU quest to drastically reduce GHG emissions and curb its use of fossil fuels. The storage and transport of hydrogen, however, faces important challenges which hinder its broad application as an alternative and zero emission fuel. Storage of hydrogen as a gas typically requires high-pressure tanks (up to 700 bar tank pressure); storage of hydrogen as a liquid requires cryogenic temperatures because the boiling point of hydrogen at one atmosphere pressure is -253C. Therefore, for several applications, ammonia rises as a rather prominent vector if it can be produced efficiently. The production is traditionally bound by the constraints of thermodynamics, which require high synthesis pressures, as well as temperatures. Thus, NH3 is produced centralised/large-scaled.

HySTrAm (Hydrogen Storage and Transport using Ammonia) is a Horizon Europe funded project that builds on developing physical H2 storage materials, enabling short term storage (buffering renewables dynamics), as well as the 3 structural corner stones of flexible low pressure NH3: decreased Ru content catalysts, high temperature NH3 sorbents and induction-heated support granting (optimal) responsiveness. The project will demonstrate a compact containerised ammonia synthesis system which is based on two main consecutive stages:1) A short-term storage hydrogen vessel which will serve as a buffer to store and transport the hydrogen produced by electrolysis. Within the hydrogen vessel, new ultraporous material will be identified and optimised through machine learning technology 2) An ammonia synthesis reactor based on an improved the Haber-Bosch process where the stored hydrogen will react with nitrogen to form ammonia using the novel catalysts and sorbents developed in HySTrAm.

Project description
In this project, the PhD student will investigate and design a sorption enhanced reactor integrating the sorbents for the separation of ammonia with 3D structured catalysts for ammonia production at lower temperatures and pressures compared to industrial HB process.
A multi-scale approach will be used to design and develop ammonia sorbents for the adsorption at relatively high T. This system will operate with optimal kinetic and transport properties to effectively drive the selectivity towards ammonia.

The project will cover the following aspects:
1) material synthesis, characterization and testing
2) kinetic and mass transfer studies
3) reactor design and development using modeling and experimental validation of integrated system
4) techno-economic analysis


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


We are looking for a candidate with the following profile:
  • Background in separation, adsorption and sorbent development
  • Background in kinetics study
  • Background on reactor modeling
  • Good communication skills;
  • Good knowledge of English language;

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities, starts with € 2.443,- in the first year to € 3.122,- in the fourth year.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called '30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V37.5693


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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