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The goal of this PhD is to obtain quantitative experimental data of the local electrode conditions and environment during electro-reduction (ER) processes. This project will take a radical approach in this field of research: in-situ, near-surface characterization by non-invasive micro-(electrochemical) sensors. There is still quite limited experimental accessibility to the chemical and physical processes taking place at the proximity of electrode surfaces. This key information for better understanding of the process and optimal design of the electrode, combined with the selection of an adequate electrolyte, is prerequisite to achieving higher selectivity and productivity of the “CO2 to base chemicals” conversion. To mimic industrial production the effect of high current densities is part of the research. The main focus is on the in-situ study and quantitative monitoring of the properties of the electrode (catalyst) as well as the processes taking place locally at the electrode-electrolyte interface when changing local physical and chemical parameters. This should lead to an optimized catalyst design to achieve higher efficiency and selectivity for the ER-CO2 process.
This position is part of e-Refinery. Electrosynthesis is a promising approach to electrify the manufacturing of fuels, chemicals and materials and to contribute to large-scale energy storage. Given the Dutch strategic position in the international chemical, renewable energy and transport sectors, the e-Refinery programme at TU Delft aims to develop systems to convert electricity into molecular bonds, by bundling and leveraging its activities in the associated research and education fields. The Delft e-Refinery programme covers and connects all system layers, from the molecular scale to the industrial system scale. It involves faculty members at four faculties and a multitude of PhD candidates and postdocs. The e-Refinery programme features a diverse and up-to-date research infrastructure across campus, with electrochemical labs, material labs, equipment and devices labs, power labs and a system simulation suite. TOeLS: Towards Large-Scale electro-conversion systems, is one major project within e-Refinery. The TOeLS project is co-funded by Shell and the Topsectors Chemistry, HTSM and Energy (Urban Energy and Biobased Economy). TOeLS comprises 1 full professor position, 2 tenure track positions and 9 PhD positions. For all these positions we count on an active participation in project-transcending activities within TOeLS and the e-Refinery community to accelerate innovations across scales and across disciplines.
You have a recently completed master degree in Materials Science, Chemistry or Chemical Engineering, preferably with a focus on electrochemistry/corrosion science. You have excellent academic qualifications and a strong drive to explore new materials and understand their properties making use of state-of-the art characterization techniques. Strong experimental as well as communicative skills and a pioneering mentality are essential for this project.
Fixed-term contract: 4 years.
TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit http://www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.
The Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE) trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.
The Department of Process and Energy (P&E) focuses on process and energy technology in a mechanical engineering context, meaning that a process or energy conversion is part of an apparatus. We envision that in the coming decades a transition from fossil/conventional energy conversion towards full electrification will take place in society. Our objective is to develop processes supporting this transition by making existing processes more efficient and developing novel green technologies that use electricity as a primary energy source to produce heavy transportation fuels and bulk chemicals. Continuum fluids are the common denominator, either as a process material, carrier, or solvent, or as a medium through which a transport, separation, or chemical process is carried out, see: https://www.tudelft.nl/en/3me/departments/process-energy/