Heat batteries / Fifty percent of our daily energy usage is in the form of thermal energy. In view of the energy challenges ahead of us, compact heat storage offers opportunities to bridge the mismatch between supply and demand of energy. Inorganic crystal hydrates have the potential to be used as storage media in heat batteries. Discharge happens via hydration reactions involving a phase transition of the crystal lattice due to water incorporation.
Challenge / A heat battery consists of a packed bed of millimeter-sized salt hydrate tablets. The challenge is to stabilize beds of these tablets as they significantly swell over multiple hydration-dehydration cycles.
Project aim and description / That salt hydrate particles irreversibly swell over multiple hydration/dehydration cycles is known. However, the physics of this process is poorly understood. This lack of understanding hampers the progress in finding solutions for this problem. It will be your task to elucidate the physical mechanisms of swelling via experimenting, to identify dopants that reduce the swelling, and to model the processes. In your work you will couple atomistic scale processes at crystal surfaces with potential consequences on the swelling behavior of millimeter sized salt particles. Techniques like EIS (Impedance Spectroscopy), TGA-DSC and NMR-relaxometry will be at the heart of your activities.
Our offer / We offer a 4 year PhD position a team of several PhD’s all working on understanding and modifying materials suitable for heat storage. Your work is embedded in a cooperation of Eindhoven University of Technology TU/e– Department of Applied Physics, The Netherlands Organization of Applied Scientific Research TNO and Cellcius B.V. Cellcius is the first spin-off company of both organizations that aims to bring breakthrough technology based on salt hydrates to the market. You will work with and get support from Cellcius technical staff dedicated to the project.
Working location / You will mostly work in the lab of the TPM (Transport in Permeable Media) of the Eindhoven University of Technology (https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/transport-in-permeable-media/), but will also have access to the labs of TNO and Cellcius. In TPM you will collaborate with 6 PhD’s and postdoc, working on several aspects of thermochemical materials based on salt hydrates. The TNO labs offer a wide variety of chemical synthesis and characterization options. TPM has EIS, XRD, extensive TGA-DSC facilities, NMR imaging tools and good access to SEM.
If so, you are the right candidate for this position.
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
dr. H.P. Huinink (h.p.huinink[at]tue.nl, https://www.tue.nl/en/research/researchers/henk-huinink , +31 40 2475375).
For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRServices.Flux[at]tue.nl.
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