Would you like to contribute to a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy supply? Would you like to further develop materials that contribute to a more efficient use of available energy and resources?
Then join our team of researchers at the Institute for Future Fuels in Cologne.
You will be part of an interdisciplinary, multinational research team and have access to state-of-the-art chemical laboratories, as well as a broad infrastructure of analytical and structural characterisation methods. There is the possibility to participate in DLR's graduate programme.
The doctorate is being carried out within the framework of the Chair for Solar Fuels at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, which was jointly established by RWTH Aachen University and DLR.
In order to be able to meet the urgent demand for renewable energy (RE) for electricity generation, industrial process heat and the production of chemical base materials in the future, DLR is researching ceramic metal oxides and their use in high-temperature processes at the Institute for Future Fuels. These can be used in so-called thermochemical cycles to convert heat into chemical energy by reducing the metal oxide at high temperatures. Reduced metal oxides can then either be reoxidised with oxygen to release the stored energy in the form of heat as part of a heat storage system, or they can be used to produce chemical feedstocks such as N2, H2 or CO. The choice of material as well as the macroscopic structure that can be accommodated in reactor systems play a crucial role in optimising the efficiency and applicability of such processes.
Theoretical screening methods, process simulations and experimental tests and analyses must be coordinated to promote the successful implementation of novel metal oxide materials in concrete applications. The validation of thermodynamic and kinetic performance indicators of promising material candidates and their transfer to stable 3D structures are important components of current research in this field. In particular, the surface chemistry associated with the micro- and macrostructure and its influence on thermodynamics and kinetics need to be further explored in order to fully understand them.
Your main subjects are:
- Screening of multi-component metal oxide materials with regard to critical properties for thermochemical energy conversion based on literature and results from ab-initio simulations (e.g. DFT).
- Synthesis of metal oxides and production of structured objects on a laboratory scale
- Thermodynamic and kinetic analysis of metal oxide powders and structures using TGA/DSC
- Optimisation of the micro- and macrostructure with regard to the application requirements
- Modelling and validation of the reduction and oxidation kinetics of metal oxides as well as quantification of physico-chemical influencing variables
- Long-term cyclic tests of metal oxides with regard to thermodynamic and kinetic properties
- Writing scientific publications