PhD Student Membrane Development and Performance Study in Hydrogen Bromine Flo, TU/e, Netherlands

Study in:Netherlands
Deadline: 15 Nov 2017

PhD student Membrane development and performance study in hydrogen bromine flo (V37.3086)

Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
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Job description

Project background

Renewable energy sources like wind turbines require large-scale, stationary energy storage systems to balance out fluctuations in energy generation. This project focuses on hydrogen bromine flow batteries. Such a battery consists of a stack (similar to a fuel cell), in which hydrogen and bromine can react to create electric energy and hydrogen bromide. The thermodynamic reversibility of this reaction is high, so that a regenerative fuel cell system can be created with high efficiency. In close collaboration with the industrial company Elestor, this PhD project, entitled FlowCamp, will advance the development of hydrogen bromine flow batteries and will develop materials (membranes, electrodes, electrolytes, catalysts, sealing materials) for the next-generation system.

The objectives of the proposed project are:

  • Development and investigation of PVDF based proton-conducting membranes.
  • Characterisation of developed and commercial membranes with physicochemical, electrochemical as well as spectroscopic methods.
  • Evaluate ionic functionalities to obtain lowest bromine crossover with highest performance regarding selectivity, mechanical strength, ion conductivity and lifetime expectancy.
  • Integrate membranes in test cells (or stacks) to make (system) tests.

The expected results are:

  • Fundamental understanding of materials properties-performance relationships for hydrogen bromine systems.
  • Improved membranes from low cost polymer materials with minimum of bromine crossover
  • The set-up of a test battery system for full characterisation (together with partners in Germany and Israel for the frame, catalyst and advanced sealing solutions as well as partners from Switzerland for modelling input).
  • Scientific publications in peer reviewed journals and a PhD thesis

The advertised project is a 4-year PhD project. The researcher will predominantly be working at Elestor but part of the work will be performed at the TU/e. The project will be co-supervised by the Membrane Materials and Processes group of the TU/e and Elestor.


The chair Membrane Materials and Processes ( at the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology focuses on the design and development of polymer membranes to separate molecular mixtures in the area of water and energy. Its research program aims at tailoring membrane chemistry and morphology to control mass transport in macroscopic applications. The chair combines and integrates material science and process technology. Next to fundamental academic research, application-oriented research in close collaboration with the industry is stimulated.

Elestor ( is a company that is actively developing a hydrogen-bromine redox flow battery in order to enable and roll out large scale and cost effective electricity storage for renewable electricity on a 24/7 basis.

Marie Sk³odowska-Curie European Training Networks (ETNs) are joint research and training projects funded by the European Union. Funding is provided for postgraduate researchers from both inside and outside Europe to carry out individual project work in a European country other than their own. The European training network “FlowCamp” is made up of 11 partners, coordinated by Fraunhofer ICT in Germany.

This subproject is fully funded by the Marie Sk³odowska-Curie European Training Network „FlowCamp“ (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017). The recruited researcher will have the opportunity to work as part of an international, interdisciplinary team of 15 postgraduates, based at universities and industrial firms throughout Europe. She/he will gain a unique skill-set comprising electrochemistry, material science and cell design/ engineering, as well as an overview of different RFB technologies and their implementation at prototype level. She/he is expected to finish the project with a PhD thesis and to disseminate the results through patents (if applicable), publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences.

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates with a good team spirit who like to work in an internationally oriented environment. Fluency in English is a prerequisite. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

Specifically we are looking for candidates that:

  • Are highly motivated and enthusiastic researchers with a M.Sc. degree in chemistry, chemical engineering or a related topic with a strong physical chemistry/chemistry/electrochemistry background that combine scientific curiosity with practical application skills.
  • Are in the early-stages or their research: a researcher without a PhD, who is in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of her/his research career, measured from the date when she/he obtained the degree which would formally entitle her/him to embark on a doctorate.
  • Have experience with electrochemistry and electrochemical analyses tools (like EIS and SEM).
  • Have a systematic and accurate working attitude with good analytical skills
  • Have strong communication skills with ability to work in a team composed of scientists and engineers of various disciplines
  • Have the ability to take initiatives with an entrepreneurial mindset and a ‘hands on mentality’
  • Are willing to travel internationally (occasionally) in relation to required activities

The applicant must not have resided or carried out her/his main activity (work, studies etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the past three years.

Conditions of employment

We offer a challenging  job at Elestor with a strong cooperation with the TU/e through a an appointment for the period of 4 years. The research in this project must be concluded with the attainment of a Ph.D. degree. TU/e also offers you the opportunity for personal development  by offering every PhD student a series of courses that are part of the Proof Program as an excellent addition to your scientific education.

Information and application

Please up load your application including a motivation letter, curriculum vitae (including contact details of at least two references), a list of BSc and MSc courses and grades by using the apply now button, quoting the reference „FlowCamp-EL-ESR1“:

Candidates are urged to apply as soon as possible, as selection will start immediately.

Please keep in mind; you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each.

Application deadline:  15thNovember 2017

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