Postdoc in Electrode and Cell Testing for Advanced Alkaline Electrolysis

Monday 23 Mar 20

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The Section of Electrochemistry carries out research on electrochemical conversion and storage technologies, such as fuel cells, electrolysis cells, flow batteries, and novel types of electrochemical cells for power to X. Our research spans from fundamental understanding of electrochemical materials and processes to fabrication of lab scale components and devices and testing using advanced electrochemical characterization methods and test stations. We work in close collaboration with other Sections within the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, expanding our capacity for materials processing, microstructural characterization, and modeling.

 

We seek a postdoc to strengthen our research activities within advanced alkaline electrolysis cells operating at elevated temperatures and pressures (HTP-AEC). Electrolysis is a key technology for transitioning to a 100% sustainable energy system, as it both enables cost effective and large scale storage of intermittent renewable electricity and provides the means for the production of sustainable fuels and chemicals. Alkaline electrolysis is the most mature and low cost amongst electrolysis technologies, but requires a boost in efficiency and production rate to further lower the price of hydrogen produced to a level that can compete with fossil fuel based hydrogen.

 

Responsibilities and tasks

At DTU Energy we are developing electrocatalysts, electrodes, and diaphragms/membranes for advanced alkaline electrolysis cells. One of the paths we are pursuing is to develop cells that can operate at temperatures exceeding 100 ⁰C, which is the state of the art today. Raising the operating temperature can drastically accelerate both the transport of ions and the electrode reactions, resulting in exceptionally high performance [1]. We have over the past years optimized the chemical stability and mechanical durability of a novel type of ceramic diaphragm that enables operation up to at least 200 ⁰C. We have also made great progress in developing active and stable electrodes, employing a synergistic experimental and simulation approach. The goal of the current position is to further improve the electrode performance, by employing improved electrocatalysts in advanced electrode microstructures.

  • You will be responsible for the electrochemical testing of the electrodes, by means of i-V curves, chrono-potentiometry/amperometry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.
  • You will work in close collaboration with another PostDoc Researcher, who will be responsible for the electrode fabrication and characterization. Good communication and cooperation skills will be needed to ensure a smooth collaboration.
  • Both PostDoc positions are embedded within a larger project spanning 9 partners from both Academia and Industry, working towards the common goal of establishing the first high temperature and pressure alkaline electrolysis system prototype.
  • Your electrode and cell testing work will benefit from three unique electrochemical test stations that are already established in the Department and facilitate testing of electrochemical cells at temperatures of up to at least 250 ⁰C and pressures of up to 100 bar. Furthermore, you will benefit from specialized holders, reference electrodes, and testing expertise under these very demanding conditions. You are expected to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the existing infrastructure, and to the design and commissioning of a 4th test station that will enable testing of single repeating units.
  • You are expected to take a leading role in establishing testing protocols, using and expanding our automated data analysis tools, coordinating the testing work in relation to the electrode fabrication work in the most efficient and productive way possible, assessing and benchmarking the outcome of your tests and drawing well founded conclusions that can help direct further development efforts.

Qualifications
Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent in e.g. Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, or Electrochemistry.

 
As an appropriate candidate you are:
  • Highly motivated and enthusiastic about the research topic
  • Responsible, sincere, and forthcoming
  • Driven by challenges, forward looking, and pro-active
  • Able to work independently as well as within a team
  • Excited to be part of a dynamic multi-disciplinary group
  • Able to plan and carry out complicated tasks, and to pursue parallel paths
  • Able to accommodate in your planning time boundaries imposed by the larger project goal
  • Good at communicating and reporting your work in both written and spoken English

Documented experience in one or more of the following specific areas is required:

  • Alkaline electrolysis cells or other type of electrolysis/electrochemical cells
  • Advanced electrochemical characterization methods
  • Design and commissioning of electrochemical testing infrastructure
  • Electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and other advanced structural and chemical analysis techniques
We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

 

Salary and terms of employment

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

 

The period of employment is 1 year.

 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

 
Further information

Further information may be obtained from:

Senior Scientist Christodoulos Chatzichristodoulou; ccha@dtu.dk, tel.: +45 21325057

Head of Section Lars Nilausen Cleemann; lncl@dtu.dk

 

You can read more about the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage at www.energy.dtu.dk/english

 

Please submit your online application no later than 6 April 2020.  

 

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

 

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

 

The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. In a sustainable energy system a large part of the energy will be supplied by fluctuating sources such as solar and wind power. This makes it critically important to be able to convert and store the energy as needed. The researchers in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage work on technologies and materials for direct conversion and subsequent storage of different forms of energy.

 

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.