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Job Record #15649
TitlePhD multiphysics simulations of gas-evolving porous electrodes
CategoryJob in Academia
EmployerDelft University of Technology
LocationNetherlands, Zuid-Holland, Delft
InternationalYes, international applications are welcome
Closure DateMonday, April 01, 2019
The large-scale carbon neutral production of ‘solar’ fuels and base 
chemicals like hydrogen and syngas, ammonia, and methanol using only 
renewable electricity, water, and air will play a pivotal role in the 
transition towards a sustainable energy system. This can be done efficiently 
in electrochemical reactors, similar to electrolysers, fuel cells, and redox 
flow batteries. 

The aim of these PhD projects is to make a step in our quantitative 
understanding of the evolution of gasses inside porous electrodes, including 
the effect of liquid flows. These gases may be the desired products, but 
their presence can also adversely impact the performance. 

The PhD positions focus on, respectively: 

1) The pore level: using advanced 3D multiphysics simulations in COMSOL and 
in-house code. Based on the continuum Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations, often 
overlooked electrokinetic effects as well as bubble nucleation and evolution 
will be included. By contributing to ongoing and future PhD projects there 
will be ample opportunity to be involved in various applications.

2) The electrode level: using a powerful combination of multiscale 
simulations, experiments, and imaging for optimal understanding. The 
important effect of gas bubbles on the energy losses is the primary concern 
in this project, which focuses on hydrogen production through alkaline 
electrolysis. There are already various experimental efforts ongoing in this 
direction that can be benefited from.

3) The cell level: the electrochemical conversion of CO2 is a promising 
avenue for sustainable production of liquid hydrocarbons. The efficiency of 
this process can be strongly improved using properly applied liquid flows. 
Using hydrodynamic understanding, prototyping, and physical and possibly 
microkinetic modeling, an optimized state-of-the art overall design is the 
goal of this PhD research. 

Common to all projects are (multiphase) fluid dynamics, physical transport 
phenomena, and some electrochemistry. Depending on the project and the 
background of the candidate, part of these topics may be learnt or refined 
during the course of the PhD. Given the multi-disciplinary nature and 
societal relevance, these projects are expected to provide a challenging but 
stimulating and rewarding learning experience.

We are looking for highly motivated and assertive candidates with a sharp 
mind for critical and creative thinking and good communication skills in 

An MSc in an applied science or an engineering discipline like applied 
physics or mathematics, mechanical-, aerospace-, or chemical engineering or 
equivalent is required as well as a proven affinity with and skill for 
mathematical and computational modelling or experimental skills 
respectively, depending on the position applied for.

To apply, please e-mail a motivation letter, a detailed CV and the names and 
contact details of three or more references before April 1st 2019 to Please clearly indicate your preference, if any, 
for projects 1, 2, or 3.
Contact Information:
Please mention the CFD Jobs Database, record #15649 when responding to this ad.
NameWillem Haverkort
Email ApplicationYes
Record Data:
Last Modified10:54:42, Sunday, February 10, 2019

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