Project objectives

The electrochemical conversion of CO2 is a promising technology to overcome several challenges facing the implementation of carbon-neutral energy sources as it provides a means of storing renewable electricity in a convenient, high energy-density form. CO2 is considered as the furthermost thermodynamically stable oxidized state of carbon. Consequently, CO2 reductions using different approaches need high threshold energy input to overcome thermodynamic barriers. Thus, it is necessary to find suitable catalysts to boost the conversion kinetics and enhance the product selectivity. Advantages are observed when using electrochemical technologies for CO2 conversion from aqueous solutions, under relatively mild conditions, with limited consumption of chemicals, at controlled reaction rate and in an environmental friendly manner. In addition, a high selectivity in the desired molecule(s) produced will be achieved by controlling the processing parameters and interferences of undesired compounds, present in the CO2 waste stream, can be minimized. In order to develop an efficient CO2 conversion process, this PhD project will develop and characterize in detail Gas Diffusion Electrodes (GDEs) for selected bimetallic Cu/M catalysts for electrochemical CO2 reduction towards ethylene and further validate with other bimetallic catalysts for other products, e.g. CO, formate, methanol.

 

Job description

The DC will prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of electrochemical CO2 conversion, will publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment and will  contribute to outreach and research at VITO and TCD under the framework of ECOMATES project.

 

Working context

DC#8 will be hosted at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research – VITO (Belgium) and will be enrolled in the PhD school of the Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), supervised by Dr. D. Pant and co-Supervised by Prof. M. Garcia Melchor. Part of the activity will be carried on during secondment periods at APRIA for a training on electrolyzer development and testing the GDEs developed at VITO and at Trinity College Dublin for a training on electrode design and modelling.

 

Specific requirements and eligibility criteria

Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the Trinity College of Dublin university’s policy.

 

Starting date and contract duration

The contract will start no later than the 1st of November 2023 and will last 36 months.

For questions about the profile and the description of duties for this particular DC position, please contact Dr Deepak Pant (deepak.pant@vito.be) and Prof. M. García-Melchor (garciamm@tcd.ie).

Application deadline: 15/03/2023 - 15:00