We are seeking a highly motivated and talented PhD candidate to join our research team at the Faculty of Geosciences. The successful candidate will work on an interdisciplinary project that integrates innovation systems, transition studies and the circular economy with material and chemical engineering sciences with the goal to foster a fully circular green hydrogen economy.
This interdisciplinary PhD research project will assess, develop and help to understand the drivers of, and barriers to, the creation of sustainable and circular electrolyzers needed for green hydrogen production. The project will explore the challenges and opportunities of producing, consuming, and recycling practices, with a focus on reducing the use of primary and critical materials by ensuring full recycling and repurposing of components. The ultimate goal of the research is to provide concrete advice to stakeholders (government, European Commission, industry) on how to stimulate circular economy practices for a sustainable and circular energy transition.
The PhD candidate will collaborate with energy, material and innovation scientists at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development
(Faculty of Geosciences). The candidate will be supervised by Dr. Hamed Aslannejad
(E&R), Dr. Adriaan van der Loos
(IS), Professor Ernst Worrell
(E&R) and Professor Gert Jan Kramer
The following questions will help guide the PhD:
- What are the material and technological needs for producing, using, and recycling green hydrogen production technologies by electrolyzers?
- What are the current challenges and opportunities in the production, consumption, and recycling practices of green hydrogen technologies, and how can circular economy principles be integrated to develop cradle-to-cradle electrolyzers?
- How can we reduce raw resource requirements and ensure the full recycling and repurposing of components without downgrading their material quality in green hydrogen production technologies?
- How can we generate material and socio-technical insights into the production, use, and recycling of green hydrogen technologies to promote and create a mission-oriented circular economy and community?
- Investigate raw materials, their origins, future needs, and refining necessary to create the building blocks of electrolyzers, focusing on existing and promising raw materials;
- Study the production, consumption, and recycling practices that hinder the creation of a fully circular green hydrogen economy and investigate innovative solutions to overcome these challenges;
- Collaborate with the Energy & Resources and Innovation Studies groups of the Copernicus Institute and work closely with both socio-technical and fundamental geomaterials, manufacturing techniques, and recycling practices;
- Develop theoretical perspectives and scientific expertise to generate material and socio-technical insights into how the core green hydrogen technology - the electrolyzer - is produced, used, and recycled, and provide advice on how these processes can be made more sustainable and circular;
- Publish research results in high-impact scientific journals and present research findings at national and international conferences;
- Contribute to the supervision of Master's students and participate in teaching activities related to the project.