Decarbonization of our energy economy is paramount to combat climate change. Large scale energy storage must be deployed at a global scale to enable widespread integration of renewable energy technologies (e.g., solar and wind power) and secure grid stability. Redox flow batteries are a class of rechargeable electrochemical devices that are suited for storing megawatt-hours of electrical energy for multiple hours. However, current flow batteries are hampered by technical and economic challenges which motivates the exploration of new chemistries and reactor formats to enable transformative improvements. Specifically, engineering the electrode microstructure and surface properties is a powerful approach to enhance the performance, cost, and durability of the system. However, to date there is limited knowledge on how to deterministically design porous electrodes which results in a reduced choice of electrode materials, mostly limited to fibrous based substrates which fundamentally limit the performance of redox flow batteries. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop precisely engineered electrode materials using versatile and scalable manufacturing techniques to unlock new electrochemical systems.
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). The main aim is to develop a low cost and long-duration energy storage system and we will focus on the fundamental science of porous electrodes to realize this goal. The postdoctoral researcher will develop new computational frameworks to accelerate porous electrode design by bridging concepts from machine learning, topology optimization, electrochemical multiscale modeling, and polymer physics. Our ultimate objective is to answer the following question: How does an “optimal” electrode microstructure look like and what is the recipe to make it?
An interview and a scientific presentation are part of the selection procedure.
The postdoctoral research will work in the Electrochemical Materials and Systems Laboratory, which is part of the Membrane Materials and Processes chair.
Electrochemical Materials and Systems Laboratory
The Electrochemical Materials and Systems (EMS) 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 cells and electrolyzers, and decarbonization of the chemical industry through efficient separations.
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 position, please contact dr. Antoni Forner-Cuenca (e-mail: a.forner.cuenca[at]tue.nl).
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.