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Advertising division: IEK-11 - Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy
Reference number: Electrocatalysis/Electrosynthesis

Master Thesis “Production of synthetic fuels and value-added chemicals from renewable resources by electrosynthesis”

Project description:

Exploiting the surplus of renewable electricity (e.g. wind power during the night) and resources to produce green chemicals and fuels via electrocatalysts has a lot of benefits in comparison to the classical heterogeneous catalysis approaches including:

  • Migrating from fossil fuel-based society to a sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative.
  • Lower risk and costs of processes under ambient conditions in comparison to high pressures and temperatures catalytic processes.
  • Onsite production of chemicals without the necessity of shipping e.g. ammonia for fertilizer applications.

Moreover, biomass is cheap and widespread raw materials for such processes particularly lignocellulosic biomass, which additionally does not compete with food production.

We have developed a worldwide unique technique called "electrochemical real-time mass spectrometry" which consists of an electrochemical scanning flow cell coupled to two mass spectrometers. We apply this technique for fast screening of electrode materials and conditions with the simultaneous analysis of gaseous and liquid products during electrochemical experiments. To derive the kinetic parameters of the reaction we perform additionally electrolysis with home-made electrochemical cells for the quantification of reaction products. The gaseous products are thereby quantified using an online GC while the liquid and dissolved products can be analyzed by further chromatographic techniques like HPLC, GC-MS, or IC. For this project, we would like to apply all these tools to better understand reaction mechanisms and the influence of selected parameters on the selectivity and activity of the reaction.

Your tasks:

We are offering you a research project in which you can independently work with the support of your supervisor. Your tasks include literature research, working in the lab as well as editing and presenting your data. You will learn how to conduct electrochemical experiments as you get familiar with various analytical techniques.

Your profile:

  • Enthusiasm and interest in electrochemical processes and analytics.
  • Excellent records in the fields of chemical engineering, chemistry, material science, or physics.
  • Appropriate English skills both written and spoken is necessary to work in an international group.
  • Basic knowledge in electrochemistry and analytics is preferable, but not essential.

Are you interested?

Please send a cover letter, CV, and transcript of records by email to Peyman Khanipour (p.khanipour@fz-juelich.de), and Ricarda Kloth (r.kloth@fz-juelich.de).

Additional Information