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12.9
phd project

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 optimize and upscale an innovative capture technology based on CO2 absorption in alkaline blends, followed by an electrochemical regeneration/desorption step(1). The main challenge is to develop novel cell designs to increase the process performance, in terms of high CO2 capture rate, high current efficiency, and low energy consumption.

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:
• MSc degree in chemical engineering/chemistry or equivalent, completed before the start date of the position (1st September 2021) with excellent grades
• Strong background in electrochemistry (theory and experimental)
• Hands on experience with electrochemical workstation
• Ability to work independently in laboratory, and to rigorously design and perform experiments in a result-oriented and thorough manner

Personal knowledge and skills
• A strong interest in carrying out multidiscipline research in a highly international environment
• Excellent interpersonal skills to work effectively with team members from different backgrounds
• Good oral and written communication skills in English (CEFR Level B2)
• A strong interest in personal development and career growth

Partnership and international collaborations
A strong cooperation with industrial and academic partners is envisioned for this project. 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 PhD 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 with academic experts from Danish Technological University, Heriot-Watt University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and University of Calgary.

Supervision arrangement
Promotor: prof. Dr. ir. H.V.M. (Bert) Hamelers (Wageningen University, Environmental Technology (ETE))
Co-promotor: Dr. ir. Philipp Kuntke (Wageningen University, ETE)
Wetsus supervisor: Dr. Michele Tedesco

Working arrangement
The research project will be fully executed at Wetsus (Leeuwarden), with regular interaction with Wageningen University.

For more information, contact Dr. M. Tedesco: Michele.tedesco@wetsus.nl
Please do not send your application to this email address. Only complete applications received via the official application form will be considered for evaluation.

12.9 Electrochemical carbon capture: novel electrochemically-assisted processes for electricity-driven CO2 capture and carbon-neutral production of minerals

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