Universiteit Hasselt/VITO - Joint PhD
Prof. An Hardy (UHasselt)
Dr. Deepak Pant (VITO)
Next generation of conductive and stable electrocatalysts for CO2/H2 conversion and H2 production
We will investigate how to improve stability over long term for CO2 conversion by electrocatalysis. Our focus will be on novel conductive and stable electrocatalyst based on doped graphitic materials combined with metal / metal oxides doped with S/N.
Among the various technological approaches for the conversion of CO2 to chemicals, a comparative evaluation revealed that electrochemical methods are the most promising ones. However, CO2 conversion through electrocatalysis is not stable over time.
In this PhD, the next generation of conductive and stable electrocatalysts for CO2 conversion will be developed by combining the approach of electrocatalysts conductivity, functionalization, and catalyst degradation with that of electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 and gas diffusion electrodes.
The scope of this PhD will cover the novel electrocatalyst development (metal core-shells and metal oxides) and its characterization, functionalized carbon materials, gas diffusion electrode (GDE) construction based on a previously developed electrocatalyst, a study of the electrode kinetics of CO2-reduction, processing parameters optimization towards an efficient CO2-conversion, detail mechanistic aspects of stability and degradation, in-operando electrochemical Raman spectrometry and the parameters driving degradation using DFT.
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