PhD on Electrochemical Coupling of CO2 and Nitrates

PhD on Electrochemical Coupling of CO2 and Nitrates

Published Deadline Location
8 Nov 17 Dec Eindhoven

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Job description

Compounds with at least one C-N bond, called organonitrogen compounds, represent a significant part of industrially produced chemicals, ranging from fertilizers to pharmaceuticals. Their current production methods are not environmentally friendly, so their replacement is sought. Thus, alternative electrochemical processes using waste chemicals as substrates appear as an up-and-coming solution. However, the knowledge of C-N coupling from CO2 and NO3-/NO2- is meager and lacks systematic and fundamental studies. This project will explore the reaction mechanism in different electrocatalyst materials by using in situ and operando spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, OLEMS, Raman and XPS).

Inorganic Materials and Catalysis

We are a vibrant research group focusing on the fundamental and applied aspects of catalyzed reactions relevant to a clean and sustainable future. Our primary interest lies in the interface of heterogeneous catalysis and materials design, with a strong emphasis on elucidating the mechanism of (electro)catalytic reactions. The electrochemistry team research is devoted to electrocatalysis and electro(catalytic)synthesis for sustainable processes and the production of high-value chemicals like fuels and organic molecules from 'waste' substrates, for example, carbon dioxide and biomass. The main aim is to understand, develop, and optimize electrochemical reactions under practical, relevant conditions to take a step further in the usage of electrochemistry at the industrial scale.

The Inorganic Materials and Catalysis team consists of 6 scientific staff members (2 full professors, 3 assistant professors, and one research fellow), 4 supporting staff members, ~25 PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows as well as master and bachelor students. We see ourselves as passionate scientists, working together in teams to produce meaningful insights for improving society. Our group has a very international character, and we regularly host guests from all over the world. We value diversity and welcome and support all identities in our research group.

Job Description

In this project, you will study the reaction mechanism of the C-N bond coupling between CO2 and nitrates. The key challenge is understanding what conditions will lead to the selective synthesis of organonitrogens and how to avoid undesired reactions of the substrate and other competing processes. You will use in situ and operando spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, OLEMS, Raman, and XPS) to unravel the intermediates and reaction pathways for the reaction. The findings from this project will contribute to developing new and more active catalysts that can operate at industrially relevant conditions, bringing the synthesis of green fertilizers closer to reality.

This project is part of the Future Chemistry Program, coordinated by the Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems (EIRES). More information in


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A master's degree (or an equivalent university degree) in chemistry or chemical engineering.
  • Experience in electrochemistry and/or in situ spectroscopy is a plus
  • A research-oriented attitude.
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and interested in collaborating with industrial partners.
  • Motivated to develop your teaching skills and coach students.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale PhD (min. € 2.770 max. € 3.539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home, and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V37.7068


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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