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Internship Electrofuels

Posted 19 May 2024
Work experience
0 to 1 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)

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About this position

Rising CO2 levels and its negative impact on the global climate is a major problem facing humanity today.[1] Apart from the large scale efforts being taken to curb on the Carbon Dioxide emissions, another alternative is to sequester it at large scale industrial emitter and further electrochemically convert the CO2 to organic feedstocks/valuable compounds like, methanol, ethylene, formic acid, etc. A key technological challenge to enable such a process is the synthesis of catalysts that reduce the CO2 at low over-potentials and generate the desired products at high current densities and do so without forming unwanted by-products.[2] The CO2 reduction reactions are typically carried out in CO2 saturated aqueous electrolyte solutions. In this mode of working the CO2 molecules are solubilized in an aqueous electrolyte and reduced on the surface of a catalyst. The major drawback of using this kind of setup is the low current densities (1mA cm-2) due to the poor solubility of CO2 in aqueous electrolytes (34mM). [3] [4] To overcome this problem of low current densities which limit the scalability to industrial purposes, vapour phase reactors (Gas Diffusion Electrodes) have been proposed as possible alternatives. These reactors overcome the solution phase mass transport limitations by providing hydrophobic channels that deliver the gaseous reactants to the catalyst which is wetted by the liquid electrolyte. [3] 1. 2.Kuhl, Kendra P., et al. "New insights into the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide on metallic copper surfaces." Energy & Environmental Science 5.5 (2012): 7050-7059. 3.Ripatti, Donald S., Thomas R. Veltman, and Matthew W. Kanan. "Carbon monoxide gas diffusion electrolysis that produces concentrated C2 products with high single-pass conversion." Joule 3.1 (2019): 240-256. 4.Higgins, Drew, et al. "Gas-diffusion electrodes for carbon dioxide reduction: a new paradigm." ACS Energy Letters 4.1 (2018): 317-324.

What will be your role?

In this internship CO2 Reduction will be studied to produce ethylene on Copper nano/micro structured catalyst due to their propensity. The copper based nanostructures will be synthesized using electrodeposition of copper based plating solutions directly onto the catalyst support felts. This streamlines the synthesis process of the catalysts in comparison to the conventional techniques wherein a wet-chemically synthesized catalyst has to be concentrated and spray coated onto the catalyst support felts.

An approximate description of the activities to be encountered during this project are:

  • Performing literature review and gain acquainted with:
  • Materials to produce ethylene via electrocatalysis;
  • Synthesis methods;
  • Supports;
  • CO2 reduction in electrocatalysis;
  • Investigation of strategies to form particles in the range of nano-sizes with different shapes;
  • Performing experiments in a chemical lab;
  • Investigating the Scaling-up synthesis process;
  • Electrode characterization;
  • Analyzing the experimental data and preparing presentations;
  • Participating in active discussion with colleagues about your results;
  • Reporting and presenting your findings.

The approximate duration of this internship is six months (24 weeks).

What we expect from you

  • The duration of this internship is at least 6 months. Please clearly mention duration availability and starting period in your application;
  • Interest in the energy transition;
  • High motivation, with a curious nature and a taste for problem-solving;
  • Ability to work autonomously within a small team and good social skills to get the information you need from the most knowledgeable people around you.
  • Good communication skills (in English).

What you'll get in return

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.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society.

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.

Management Consulting
Den Haag
3,300 employees