Postdoc in Electrochemical Synthesis of Ammonia

tirsdag 29 sep 20

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Frist 31. oktober 2020
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The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage (DTU Energy) at the Technical University of Denmark invites applicants for a Postdoc position on the topic of ammonia synthesis via high temperature ceramic electrochemical reactors.

Our department carries out R&D in sustainable energy conversion technologies for the future energy system, and is among the world’s leaders in research and development of solid oxide fuel cell and electrolysis cell technology. We have excellent facilities and competences for fabrication, testing and characterization of such devices and are around 200 members of staff. The selected candidate will be a member of the Continuum Modelling and Testing section counting around 20 members, but will also interact with colleagues in other sections of the department and with external project partners.

The Postdoc position is supported by the project “One-step synthesis of green ammonia from renewables (GreenNH3)” recently funded by Villum Fonden. Ammonia (NH3) is the second most common chemical produced in the world today. It is used mainly as a fertilizer, but also a feedstock for a large number of basic chemicals. NH3 is also an excellent fuel and has been recommended as one of the best options for future large scale chemical storage of power production from intermittent renewable sources. Currently, the global production of NH3 is about 150 million tons per year, all of which >90 % is produced by the traditional Haber–Bosch process (HBP). The HBP accounts for >1% of the annual global energy consumption and 1% of the global CO2 emission.

The overall objective of the GreenNH3 project is to design and develop a game-changing novel electrochemical reactor based on high temperature oxygen ion conducting and proton conducting ceramics, for synthesizing ammonia from air, water, and renewable electricity (all abundant resources). Such reactor combines all the reactions into one device with high degree of system integration. If succeeded, this technology will enable the efficient production of NH3 via a sustainable and green route.

Responsibilities and tasks
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate who will be in charge of design and development of the electrochemical reactor. You will be responsible for

  • Designing the configuration of the electrochemical reactor based on the project concept.
  • Establishing an electrochemical model accounting for the reaction kinetics of the reactor and utilizing the model for design optimization.
  • Developing the actual electrochemical reactor and demonstrating the proof-of-concept of electrochemical synthesis of green ammonia.

Candidates should have a PhD degree in materials science, chemistry, nanoscience, or physics. The following qualifications are crucial for the project:

  • Experience with high temperature oxygen ion conducting or proton conducting ceramics.
  • Experience with solid state electrochemistry, including modelling and experimental characterization.
  • Very good communication skills in English, both written and spoken.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team.

In addition, candidates with one or more of the following qualifications are preferred for the project:

  • Experience with high temperature solid oxide cells (oxygen ion conducting or proton conducting).
  • Experience with electrochemical synthesis of ammonia.
  • Electrocatalyst design and optimization.

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 appointment terms
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 position is for 2 years. The expected starting date is January 2021.

The workplace will be DTU Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Ming Chen, tel.: +45 4677 5757

You can read more about DTU Energy on

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 31 October 2020 (23:59 local time).

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in 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

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

DTU Energy is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity and thermoelectrics. Additional information about the department can be found 

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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 12,000 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.