The transition to a renewable energy economy will necessitate the deployment of a massive amount of energy storage to integrate renewables and balance demand and supply. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop battery technologies that can be scaled-up to fulfill the stringent requirements of the grid, and most important, store electricity at very low cost. FAIR-RFB (Engineered Porous Electrodes to Unlock Ultra-low Cost Fe-air Redox Flow Batteries) is an ambitious research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant) and we are currently building a team of talented and enthusiastic researchers to tackle this challenging research program. The main aim is to develop a low cost and long-duration energy storage system (e.g. a “giant battery”) for large scale energy storage. In this project, we will focus on the fundamental science of porous electrodes, which are the core of next-generation battery technologies and determine their performance, durability and cost.
In this project, the PhD student will work on developing new porous electrodes by using polymer phase separation. The researcher shall develop a deep understanding of polymer dynamics and phase separation thermodynamics to be able to predict the resulting polymer structures and their relationship to the final battery performance. Our ultimate goal is to build an experimental pipeline, supported by theory, to synthesize porous electrodes with controlled three-dimension structures and composition for metal-air redox flow batteries. This multidisciplinary project will leverage principles of polymer chemistry and physics, electrochemical engineering, and transport phenomena.
An interview, a scientific presentation and a writing assignment are part of the selection procedure.
The PhD student will work in the Electrochemical Materials and Systems Laboratory, which is part of the Membrane Materials and Processes chair.
We anticipate close collaboration with the Physical Chemistry group (https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/physical-chemistry/) to acquire a deeper theoretical understanding of phase separation.
Electrochemical Materials and Systems Laboratory
The Electrochemical Materials and Systems Laboratory is led by dr. Forner-Cuenca (www.fornercuencaresearch.com). We aim to accelerate the deployment of transformative energy technologies in the real world. To do so, we employ fundamental principles at the convergence of materials science, electrochemical engineering, and surface science to synthesize, characterize, simulate, and implement novel materials into next-generation electrochemical devices. Areas of application include large-scale energy storage with flow batteries, energy conversion through hydrogen fuel cell, and sustainable manufacturing with electrolysis.
Membrane Materials and Processes at Eindhoven University of Technology
The chair Membrane Materials and Processes (www.tue.nl/mmp) at the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology (www.tue.nl) focuses on the design and development of polymer membranes and porous electrodes to control mass transport in sustainable processes. The chair combines and integrates materials chemistry, electrochemical engineering, and process technology. Application areas are water and energy, with a strong focus on the recovery and reuse of resources, the valorization of waste streams and energy efficiency. ‘Closing cycles’ and ‘value from waste’ are leading themes in the research program. Next to fundamental academic research, application-oriented research in close collaboration with the industry is stimulated.
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
The TU/e offers academic education that is driven by fundamental and applied research. We combine scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality. Our educational philosophy is based on personal attention and room for individual ambitions and talents. Our research meets the highest international standards of quality. We push the limits of science, which puts us at the forefront of rapidly emerging areas of research.
Candidates possessing both suitable experience and qualifications are invited to apply.
For information about this Ph.D. position, please contact Dr. Antoni Forner-Cuenca (e-mail: a.forner.cuenca[at]tue.nl, phone: +31 40 247 6258).
For information concerning employment conditions, click here or contact ms. P.J. van de Weijer (Sandra), HR-advisor, p.j.v.d.weijer[at]tue.nl.
Please send your application via the apply-now button and upload the following documents:
Review of applications will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the position has been filled. You can upload a maximum of 5 documents of up to 2MB each. Only applications that are submitted in this way are taken into account.