Postdoctoral researcher nanoceramic membranes for water electrolysis
What you will do
Hydrogen gas can be produced through the electrolysis of water – preferably with “green’ electricity from wind turbines or solar panels. The realization of Megawatt production of pressurized hydrogen gas is currently limited to two commercially available technology options: alkaline WE (AWE) and proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) electrolysis. The alkaline technology is the most mature and can deliver stacks ranging from a few kW to 10 MW thanks to electrodes and membranes integrated in stacks with a few square meters of active area per cell. The PEM technology is a much younger technology that still has to prove itself in the field in terms of reliability and maintenance but has single stack electrolyzers of few hundred Nm³/h already due to the higher current density it can deliver, even for the smaller sized electrodes. The intermittency of wind energy, and thus the electricity supply, makes that the electrolyzers should be able to adjust quickly to the electricity supply and thus weather conditions. However, the start-up time from zero to minimum load takes 20 to 60 minutes for alkaline electrolyzers, four times slower than for PEM electrolyzers. Unfortunately, PEM technology relies on rare noble metal electrocatalysts for both the anode and cathode, which is not sustainable for gigawatt deployment of green hydrogen, in general. Hence, unfortunately, both existing electrolyzer technologies still pose critical issues towards electrolytic hydrogen from renewable energy. To combine the best of both worlds, we are working on the development of a gas impermeable, nanoceramic alkaline membrane technology. This development would mean a paradigm shift in water electrolysis for low-cost hydrogen production. In this job, you will join the electrochemical storage and conversion group at imec and work together on the development of nanoceramic membranes for alkaline electrolysis.
What we do for you
We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s premier research centers in nanotechnology at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that makes the impossible possible. Together, we shape the technology that will determine the society of tomorrow.
We are proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions. Through imec.academy, 'our corporate university', we actively invest in your development to further your technical and personal growth.
We are aware that your valuable contribution makes imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a competitive scholarship.
Who you are
We are looking for candidates who have throughout experience of sol-gel and/or solid-state electrolyte development. Experience with electrolyzers or fuel cell technology is a plus, but not mandatory. Furthermore, you are a self-motivated person, who seizes opportunities and is enthused by new challenges.
- You have a PhD degree in science of engineering
- You are an expert in solid-electrolyte technology
- You take initiative and work independently, while being part of a team.
- You can guide and motivate team members in their work
- You can plan the work of a team according to deadlines and deliverables
- You are creative and like to think with the team to solve problems
- You are result-driven and can meet stringent deadlines with quality output.
- You are flexible to accept new challenges in the future, and to evolve together with the changing R&D demands of our high-tech environment
The imec environment requires a good team player with competent communication and reporting skills. Given the international character of imec an impeccable knowledge of English is mandatory.
This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).