7.7 Novel methods for electrochemical capture and conversion of CO2

There is a growing interest in Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU), i.e. the development of technologies to remove CO2 from flue gas, and use the captured CO2 as a working fluid, or as a source of carbon. Despite all the progress achieved over the last decade, current capture technologies (e.g. amine-based post combustion, calcium looping post combustion, oxy-fuel process) have still high energy consumptions. Therefore, further research is still needed to create low-energy CCU solutions that will benefit the environment, the society, and the economy.
At Wetsus, current research activities on CCU are based on a novel electrochemical process, namely “reactive gas electrosorption” (RGE). In the RGE process, CO2 is first dissolved in water, and then adsorbed as ions (e.g., bicarbonate and protons) into capacitive materials, by applying an electric voltage between two electrodes. The principle of the RGE process has been already demonstrated as promising technology to recover energy from flue gas [1,2]. However, research is still needed to further develop the RGE technology for carbon capture, e.g. through a careful selection of electrode materials, ion exchange membranes, and reactor design.

Research challenge
The aim of this PhD project is to develop the next generation of electrochemical CO2 capture process, building on the previous experience at Wetsus in the field of applied electrochemistry, capacitive deionization (CDI), and energy recovery from flue gas (CO2 energy). In particular, the PhD project will focus on the development of novel capacitive materials for CO2 capture, electrode coating, and new cell design. Other electrochemical processes based on ion exchange materials will also be investigated.
The expected outcome of the project is a comprehensive understanding of transport phenomena involved in electrochemical CO2 capture processes, including the development of a process model for the selected technologies.

We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in chemical engineering, electrochemistry, physical chemistry or a related field, with a strong physical chemistry and/or electrochemistry background. The candidate should have excellent experimental and theoretical skills.

The PhD project will be executed within the Wetsus research theme Sustainable Carbon Cycle.
The following companies are part of this theme: Alliander (NL), Laborelec/ENGIE (BE), and Shell (NL).

For more information contact: Dr. Michele Tedesco (

Please do NOT send your CV directly to this email address. Only complete applications sent via the website will be evaluated (How to Apply).

Wetsus, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

[1] H.V.M. Hamelers, O. Schaetzle, J.M. Paz-García, P.M. Biesheuvel, C.J.N. Buisman, Harvesting Energy from CO 2 Emissions, Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 1 (2014) 31–35.
[2] J.M. Paz-Garcia, O. Schaetzle, P.M. Biesheuvel, H.V.M. Hamelers, Energy from CO2 using capacitive electrodes - Theoretical outline and calculation of open circuit voltage, J. Colloid Interface Sci. 418 (2014) 200–207.

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