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post-doctoral
position

Chemical Engineering/Environmental Engineering (2 years):
Electrochemical carbon capture: novel electrochemically-assisted processes for electricity-driven CO2 capture and carbon-neutral production of minerals

 Motivation

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our society. Despite all the research efforts in the field of carbon capture, novel technological solutions are still urgently needed, to create carbon-neutral capture technology that can be powered by renewable electricity, thus without the need of fossil fuels.

Research challenge

The aim of this project is to upscale an innovative capture technology based on CO2 absorption in alkaline blends, followed by an electrochemical regeneration/desorption step [1]. In particular, the research project will focus on strategies to optimize the electrochemical cell design at laboratory scale, on the construction and demonstration of a pilot-scale installation at industrial sites. The main upscaling challenges are related to the development of novel cell designs able to reach high current efficiency and CO2 capture rates at industrial current densities (1-10 kA/m2). 

References: [1] Shu et al, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 54 (14), 8990–8998. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c01977

Requirements

Technical background and experience:

  • PhD in chemical/environmental engineering awarded before the start date of the position (1st September 2021)
  • Knowledge of electrochemistry and CCU technologies
  • Previous experience in prototyping and piloting activities
  • Ability to work independently in laboratory, and to rigorously design and perform experiments in a result-oriented and thorough manner

Personal knowledge and skills

  • Eagerness to carry out multidiscipline research in a highly international environment
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with team members from different backgrounds
  • A strong interest in personal development and career growth as senior researcher with focus on collaborative European projects
  • Willingness to apply for scholarships/research grants to obtain additional funding

Experience and previous involvement in European projects will be regarded as a bonus, but not as a requirement.

Partnership and international collaborations

Wetsus promotes a close collaboration between its employees and a large network of industrial and academic partners. The research project will be part of the Wetsus research theme Sustainable Carbon Cycle, in close collaboration with industrial partners such as Qirion/Alliander, Shell, and Coval Energy.

The candidate will have the opportunity to interact and receive feedback from the industrial partners during regular meetings (every 4 months).

Moreover, the project will be executed in the framework of a collaborative European project (ConsenCUS), aiming to demonstrate the developed technology on pilot scale at industrial sites across Europe. The candidate will have the opportunity to join international meetings, visit pilot installations, and interact regularly with CCUS academic and industrial experts within the ConsenCUS consortium. In particular, a close collaboration is envisioned with Danish Gas Technology Centre, Aalborg Portland, Heriot-Watt University, Grecian Magnesite, OMV Petrom, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and University of Calgary.

Supervision arrangement

Supervisors: Dr. Michele Tedesco (Wetsus), prof. dr. ir. H.V.M. (Bert) Hamelers (Wetsus/Wageningen University, Environmental Technology (ETE))

Conditions of employment

  • A dynamic research project with a strong international collaboration
  • A full-time appointment for two years, with evaluation after one year
  • A gross monthly salary in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities, depending on your experience
  • An attractive package of benefits including moving expenses, holiday and end-of-year allowances, and sport card.

Information and application

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The applicants selected based on the application documents will be invited for a video interview in May 2021. The best applicants after the video interview will be invited for a recruiting day at Wetsus on 10th June 2021.

Applications must include:

  • Your detailed CV, including a list of publications and conference contributions
  • A one-page motivation letter, explaining your goals and research interests, and how they are aligned with this position
  • At least one reference letter.

For more information, contact Dr. M. Tedesco: Michele.tedesco@wetsus.nl. Please do not send your application to this email address.

Complete applications for this position you can send to recruitment@wetsus.nl.