At the Sustainable Process Engineering group, we focus on the improvement of two water electrolysis techniques, namely Alkaline and Anion-exchange membrane (AEM) water electrolysis. Both of these technologies have the advantage of having a much smaller dependence on scarce noble and rare earth materials than competing technologies and therefore seem particularly suitable for large scale green hydrogen production. In the research group we carry out research related to three key aspects of the technologies, namely efficiency, flexibility and durability. We closely work with industrial partners to make sure that we carry out relevant research and that the generated insights will be used to optimize large-scale electrolyzers. More information on the group can be found at: Electrochemical Engineering (tue.nl)PhD position
The PhD position will focus on the behavior of an electrolyzer when it is turned off. This is especially relevant for electrolyzers that are coupled to variable renewable electricity supply, such as sun and wind that are not always available. When an electrolyzer is shut down, there is still a lot of energy inside the electrolyzer, which will slowly dissipate in a self-discharge process. This can potentially be detrimental to the electrodes and can lead to a poorer performance when the electrolyzer is taken into operation again. Goal of the PhD position is to elucidate the self-discharge process. The generated insights can then be used to develop an accelerated stress test protocol that can be used to screen new electrode materials on their vulnerability to this self-discharge.
The PhD position will be a combination of modeling activities and experimental activities. The PhD position is part of a European project with both academic and industrial partners across Europe.