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Development of a scaled-up novel hydrogen purification system

Internship in Delft, the Netherlands

Degree level


Job function


Required languages

English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)

Work experience

0 to 1 years

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In one of our ongoing projects, the goal is to enable large scale integration of fuel cell technology in society without the need for storage of large volumes highly purified hydrogen. A technology is being developed that uses excess renewable electricity for cleaning hydrogen in a highly compact and cost-effective system based on redox reactions. With this system in place, hydrogen for fuel cells can be sourced from a network, rather than from bottled hydrogen. The development of cheap and efficient local hydrogen purification technologies stimulates the deployment of hydrogen networks in the near future.

In a previous phase of the technology development, a proof-of-concept reactor was built that showed the potential of the technology. The next step is the development of a scaled-up hydrogen purification system to an integrated prototype system.

A thorough literature review needs to be done on the purity requirements for hydrogen in fuel cells and currently possible/available technologies to meet these requirements. Next, the reactor system for proof-of-principle experiments needs to be developed (based on an existing design) and experiments need to be performed to test the generated hydrogen in terms of yield, purity and efficiency. In addition, the robustness of the technology needs to be evaluated for different types of pollutants in the gas stream that is to be cleaned. Ultimately, the work needs to culminate in the design of a scaled-up setup to evaluate the scalability of the technology, the dynamics of the process and the control strategies necessary for stable hydrogen production. A description of future industrial application potential, including a basic techno-economic evaluation is also an important part of the assignment.


Affinity with renewable energy systems, a sound theoretical background, and practical experience in chemistry and chemical engineering are required.

In general terms, tasks include literature research, construction of an experimental installation, performing experiments, modeling (mass & energy balances) and techno-economic evaluation of several process concepts, as well as reporting of the obtained results at the end of the graduation track through both an official TNO-report and an oral presentation for the SPES department (both in the English language).


Daily supervision will be done by a TNO-employee, but the student is expected to show a great responsibility and self-dependency during the project. For administrative matters, it is common that a graduation agreement is set-up by the graduate, TNO and the educational institute involved, stating mutual obligations and rights. For this purpose, a standard agreement is available. Furthermore, depending on the subject, a non-disclosure agreement should be signed in order to retain secrecy.


You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.


Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.


Innovation with purpose: that is what TNO stands for. We develop knowledge not for its own sake, but for practical application.
TNO connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the competitive strength of industry and the well-being of society in a sustainable way.
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