Carbon-carbon bond formation is key to the production of chemicals and fuels from CO2 and CO, which can be obtained by recycling. The direct use of electrons to reduce these compounds by electrochemical methods would be a step forward compared to the two-step thermolytic approaches. Current electrochemical methods are limited to low yields of products with C-C bonds, and Cu seems to be the only metal with reasonable yields of such products. In this project, we will explore the use of a wider range of electrocatalysts by using higher reaction temperatures, where non-Faradaic C-O bond dissociation can be overcome. For this project, an electrochemical reactor that can operate at elevated temperatures and pressures is available. Besides evaluating electrocatalysts under these unusual conditions, membranes and membranes/electrode assemblies will be developed for operation under these demanding conditions.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 explore a range of supported metal catalysts in CO and CO2 electrolysis in an electrochemical cell placed in an autoclave. Key aspects are further development of the existing high-pressure/temperature system to follow the products formed in the liquid and gas phases during the reaction. Various preparation methods will be compared, aiming at understanding the optimal particle size of the supported phases, including the possibility of bimetallic catalysts. The most promising catalysts will be thoroughly characterized by in situ and operando spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, OLEMS, Raman, and XPS) to unravel the intermediates and reaction pathways for the reaction. Different membranes will be tested as well, focusing on their operation under demanding conditions as well as their stability.
This project is part of the Future Chemistry Program, coordinated by the Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems (EIRES). More information in https://www.tue.nl/en/research/institutes/eindhoven-institute-for-renewable-energy-systems