Doctoral Candidate #8
Project title: Development and upscaling of gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) for electrochemical CO2 reduction.
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. The applicant will need to:
- Hold at least a 2.1 honors degree in Chemistry, Physics, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, or related discipline, from an Irish university or equivalent result from a university in another country.
- Display a high level of competence in the English language in one of the examination systems recognised by Trinity College Dublin.
Post graduate English language requirements. All applicants whose first language is not English and who have not been educated through the medium of English must present one of the following qualifications in the English language:
- IELTS: Grade 6.5 overall
- TOEFL: 88 internet-based, 570 paper-based, 230 computer-based
- University of Cambridge:
Proficiency Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
Advanced Certificate, Grade C or better (CEFR Level C1 or C2)
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PTE Academic: a minimum score of 63 to be eligible (with no section score below 59)
- Duolingo English Test: minimum overall score of 110/160, dated since January 2020
- An award certificate with a minimum II.1 overall score from Trinity’s Centre for English Language Learning and Teaching’s Pre-Master’s Pathway Programme. The Pre-Master’s Pathway Programme is an academic English course for international students with conditional offers for postgraduate study at Trinity. Passing the programme means you meet Trinity’s English language requirement and can progress to your postgraduate course without retaking IELTS or any other exam.
The Pre-Master’s Pathway Programme is an academic English course for international students with conditional offers for postgraduate study at Trinity. Passing the programme means you meet Trinity’s English language requirement and can progress to your postgraduate course without retaking IELTS or any other exam.
Please also note that existing IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge and PET scores up to two years old will be accepted for 2021/22 applications in light of test centre closures.
For further details on these English Language Proficiency Tests, please contact the appropriate organisation directly.
An applicant whose first language is not English but who has taken a degree through the medium of English may be eligible. However some courses may request applicants to present an English Language qualification under certain circumstances.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Prof. M. García-Melchor (email@example.com).
All details on ECOMATES’s open positions are also reported on the Euraxess portal at the link https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/44519.