Post doctoral position in solid state electrochemistry / ceramic materials / NH3 synthesis by electroreduction

Research into the electrochemical synthesis of NH3 focuses mainly on electrolysis cell configurations and materials, catalyst development, strategies for improving the selectivity of the N2 reduction reaction compared with that of water, and verification of the synthesis results. The post-doctorate proposed here will focus on high temperature (400-650°C) proton (H+) and anion (O2-) electrolysis processes offering the possibility of using H2O(g) and/or H2 to reduce N2.
The objectives of these studies will be as follows:
-identifying anionic O2- (SOEC for Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell) and protonic H+ (PCEC for Proton Ceramic Electrolysis Cell) electrolysis cell materials suitable for NH3 synthesis,
-optimisation or development of these cells,
-their development,
-quantification of the ammonia produced for each cell tested,
-identification of the first-order parameters needed to maximise NH3 production kinetics,
-drawing up a preliminary energy balance for comparison with the conventional Green Habor Bosch process.

Postdoc in Catalytic Supercritical Water Gasification process (Grenoble, 2 years contract)

You are a motivated young researcher, and you are looking for new challenges in the Circular Carbon Economy field. We offer a postdoc contract at CEA-Liten for studying the interactions between innovative catalysts and inorganic compounds from biomasses and wastes in supercritical water conditions.

Modeling and design of a very high temperature heat pump

As part of a research project, the LCST laboratory is studying the concept of a “Carnot battery”, a system for storing electricity as thermal energy, an alternative to other types of electric batteries. Such a process includes thermodynamic machines and thermal storage.
You will be involved in the part related to the development of the very high temperature heat pump. Such development also corresponds to industrial and societal expectations of decarbonization. In more detail, the missions that will be entrusted to you are:
- Definition of the heat pump concept in line with the other subsystems
- Modeling of the heat pump with the EES tool
- Follow-up of the realization of the heat pump demonstrator
- Experimental validation of heat pump performance and digital readjustment
- Definition of the actions to be carried out for the transition to scale 1
- Coupling of the heat pump demonstrator with the other components
A particular effort on publications and scientific communications is requested

Direct electrification of innovative reactors for reverse water gas shift (RWGS)

Technologies such as direct electrification and use of clean hydrogen could play a role in defossilizing energy sector and chemical industries. Anyway, for some specific areas, like maritime or aviation transport or carbon based chemical intermediates production, it will be necessary to replace fossil molecules by renewable ones. Reverse water gas shift (RWGS), consisting in a catalytic hydrogenation of highly stable CO2 molecule into a more common CO rich syngas , is a key for a retrofit of various fossil based infrastructure. Indeed, such syngas is used in chemical industry for about a century to synthesize chemicals and fuels.
Anyway, RWGS being an endothermal equilibrated reaction favoured at high temperature, the thermal management of the reaction is still an issue, particularly the heat input to the reactor, which in this context should be efficient and from a decarbonized source.

Process evaluation of 3rd generation biofuel production from micro-algae

CEA contributes to R&D activities in 3rd generation biofuel production from micro-algae by its fundamental research in biology (understanding of biological mechanism and improvement of microorganism performances) led by DSV at CEA Cadarache. LITEN Institute, belonging to CEA/DRT, investigates 2nd biofuel generation, from studies on resources (biomass, waste) up to industrial, economical and environmental integration.
This post doc fellow will use the different approaches developed at LITEN/DTBH to :
- perform a prospective study on process integration, for biofuel production from micro-algae,
- realize a technico-economical study of the more promising process solutions in the 2rd generation domain and industrial use of micro-algae,
- estimate the environmental impact (especially CO2) of these processes.

This work will take place in in frame of a collaboration of both labs (DSV/IBEB and DRT/LITEN/DTBH), the first one bringing its very fundamental knowledge on technical ability and performance of the micro-organism, the second one giving the knowledge on process and technico-economical evaluation of industrial reactor systems.
The post doc fellow, located in Grenoble, will go as needed in Cadarache to discuss with biology experts.

Hydrothermal carbonization as a pretreatment of wastes before their thermochemical conversion by gasification

Gasification, a thermochemical transformation generally performed at about 850°C, produces a gas that can be valorised in cogeneration, or for the synthesis of chemical products or fuels. Some bottlenecks are still present mainly for the gasification of biogenic or fossil origin wastes: irregular feeding in the reactor due to the heterogeneity in form and composition; formation of inorganic gaseous pollutants (HCl, KCl, NaCl, H2S) or organic ones (tars), which are harmful for the process and/or decrease its efficiency, and must be removed before the final application.
The objective of the post-doctoral work will be to test and optimize a pre-treatment step of the resource based on hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC). This transformation is performed at 180-250°C, in a wet and pressurised environment (2-10 MPa). The principal product is a carbonaceous solid residue (hydrochar), that can be valorised by gasification. HTC aims to limit the release of inorganic and organic pollutants in gasification, and to homogenise and improve the physical properties of the resource.
The proposed approach will consist in: experimentations in batch reactors on pre-selected resources and model materials, together with quantification and analyses of products; analysis of results aiming at elucidating the links between the resource and the properties of the hydrochar, as a function of operating conditions; an evaluation of mass and energy balances for the HTC-gasification process.

Modelling and evaluation of the future e-CO2 refinery

In the context of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the CEA has initiated a project in 2021 to assess the relevance of coupling a nuclear power system with a direct atmospheric carbon capture device (DAC) thanks to the use of the system's waste heat.

As a member of a team of about twenty experts(energy system evaluation, techno-economic engineering, energy system modeling, optimization and computer programming), you will participate in a research project on the modeling and evaluation of a CO2 refinery dedicated to the production of Jet Fuel fed by a nuclear reactor and coupled with an atmospheric CO2 capture process.