Carbon free hydrogen production is a key challenge for the energy mix of the future. One of the technologies identified is based on high-temperature steam electrolysis (HTE). The operating conditions of this process require the development of specific glass gaskets to seal the electrolysis cells. The technical issues with these gaskets are directly related to the loss of seal occurring because of interface adhesion problems or material cracking during HTE thermal cycling.
The objective of this PhD work is to study the sealing performance of the glass gasket. Firstly, leakage tests will be carry out to discriminate the origin of seal loss according to the selected glasses. Then, mechanical characterization of the glass at high temperature will be performed in order to build the constitutive equation of the material. The overall PhD work will establish a link between the physico-chemical properties of glass and its mechanical and sealing properties. The results of the experimental tests and modeling will issue recommendations on the glass gasket to ensure the proper electrolyzer operation at industrial scale.
The thesis is part of the development of HTE technologies in sight of an industrial-scale production. The project is based on a close collaboration between GENVIA (CIFRE thesis), CEA (ISEC) and the Institute of Physics of Rennes.
Applicant must hold a master’s degree or an engineering degree in material sciences. The student will have to acquire extensive knowledge in mechanic, a first experiment in this field will be highly appreciated. Applicant is expected to show good synthesis and communication skills in order to collaborate with the various teams involved in the project.
The expertise developed in glass mechanics and the experience acquired in the HTE field will be an asset for the future PhD. It is a great opportunity for the student to take advantage of his scientific knowledge to support the energy transition.