PhD on High-temperature CO/CO2 electrolysis

Eindhoven University of Technology
December 17, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 3.539
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD on High-temperature CO/CO2 electrolysis



Irène Curie Fellowship



Chemical Engineering and Chemistry



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Job description

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. renewable-energy-systems.

Job requirements
  • A master's degree (or an equivalent university degree) in chemistry or chemical engineering.
  • Experience in electrochemistry.
  • 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.
  • Information and application

    About us

    Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands- on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.

    Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


    Do you recognize yourself in this profile, and would you like to know more? Please get in touch with the project responsible, Emiel Hensen,

    Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact Leo van Houten, or +31 40 247 8269.

    Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


    We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

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