Postdoc in CO2 reduction to methanol - DTU Energy

Updated: 4 months ago

Do you want to contribute to the development of Power to X in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment where you work closely with both industry and academic partners? Then this postdoc position is for you.

The present research field is concerned with a novel method for transforming CO2 from waste product to valuable resources by creating fuels from water, CO2 and electricity. The main aim is developing further the unique intermediate temperature one-step CO2 phosphate electrolysis process which shows impressive potential to produce liquid fuels, such as methanol at the high energy efficiencies required for competing with fossil fuels. The focus will be on developing catalysts for liquid fuel production, further development of the solid electrolyte as well as performing a techno-economic evaluation and comparison to high temperature CO2-electrolysis technology.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The focus is on the cathode, where the catalysis is critical and must enable both reduction of CO2 to CO as well as hold the CO long enough to facilitate further reaction to the desired higher value molecules. A number of metals and catalysts will be produced on electrodes and tested electrochemically in an existing setup with respect to overpotential, selectivity, conductivity, as well as stability. Wet-chemical synthesis or electro-plating will be the preferred approach to catalyst production. Characterization of the different electrode materials, before and after use will be performed. 

The anode is mostly important as a means of lowering the overall cell voltage. At present RuO2 is used but cheaper materials are considered e.g. CrO2 in solid solution with RuO2. Also protection of the anode flow plate is required due to oxygen activity and needs further improvement. 

The used proton conducting electrolyte is based on CsH2PO4 which exhibits so-called super protonic solid state conductivity. This salt is combined with a retaining material. At present SiC is used, but alternatives are investigated including polymer binders. Methods of producing large scale, homogeneous and thin electrolytes will be pursued. The outcome will directly contribute to a cell voltage reduction as well as improvement of the potential for scale up. 

The following points should be taken into account:

  • Cathode catalyst development. Identification, manufacture and characterization of potential cathode catalysts
  • Development of scalable powder synthesis and plating methods for selected catalysts 
  • Development of improved anode and protective coating of anode flow plate 
  • Testing of development catalysts performance against target in a custom electrochemical setup 
  • Test protocol documenting test conditions, procedures, and data interpretation 

The project is a collaboration between DTU and four Danish companies: Elplatek, Blue World, Maersk and CO2Techn and the applicant should be able to work with these companies.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). 

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility. 

Salary and terms of employment 
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is two years. Starting date is 1 August 2023 (or according to mutual agreement) the position is a full-time position.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Erik Christensen, tel.: +45 45252306,

You can read more about the Department, DTU Energy, at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .

Application procedure 
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 June 2023 (Danish time)

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD – in English)
  • List of publications

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. In a sustainable energy system a large part of the energy will be supplied by fluctuating sources such as solar and wind power. This makes it critically important to be able to convert and store the energy as needed. The researchers in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage work on technologies and materials for direct conversion and subsequent storage of different forms of energy.   

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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