Postdoctoral contract duration: 24 months, available from March 2024 (to be discussed).
Keywords: Microbial Electrolysis Cell, Bioelectrochemical System, hydrogen, redox flow battery, fermentation, waste valorization
France launched in 2020 a national strategy for the development of low-carbon hydrogen. With more than €9 billion being invested until 2030, “green” hydrogen has become a priority to decarbonize industry and transport. The hydrogen demand has tripled since 1975, yet its production still relies at 95% on the use of fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, leading to very high CO2 emissions. Despite the falling renewable energy prices, the share of green hydrogen produced by water electrolysis is struggling to take off (only 0.1% of world production). There is an urgent need to lower the cost of low-carbon hydrogen production with clean, safe and efficient solutions. Alternative technologies to “conventional” water electrolysers, including microbial electrolysis cells, have attracted growing interest over the last 20 years. In this project funded by the Carnot 3BCAR Institute and developed in collaboration between Toulouse Chemical Engineering Laboratory (LGC) and the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI), we are seeking a postdoc with experience in bioelectrochemistry and/or electrochemical engineering to develop a hybrid microbial electrolysis cell for green hydrogen production. This disruptive process will contribute to circular economy by valorizing wastes with energy recovery from dilute and more concentrated effluents such as wastewater or fermentation effluents. By combining the advantages of microbial electrolysers and redox flow batteries, the ultimate goal will be to produce hydrogen from wastes 10 times cheaper than conventional water electrolysis.
The researcher will be hosted in the BioSyM unit (LGC, Toulouse, France, https://lgc.cnrs.fr/en/research/biosym/) and will also spend time in the SYMBIOSE unit (TBI, Toulouse, https://www.toulouse-biotechnology-institute.fr/en/poles/equipe-symbiose/). The Laboratory of Chemical Engineering of Toulouse (LGC) is the primary center for fundamental and applied research in chemical and microbial engineering in the Occitanie region. Research at the institute covers a wide variety of subjects, including biological process engineering, wastewater treatment, bioelectrochemistry, membrane processes, and process intensification. With 24 teams and approximately 300 researchers, the LGC provides a dynamic and interactive scientific environment.
Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI) is a leading biotechnology research unit in France which couples high quality teams in microbiology and protein engineering/biocatalysis with process engineering teams, to enable a unique “gene-to-process” integrative approach. TBI is a multidisciplinary institute of research and technology transfer in biotechnology and processes for agro-industry, pharmacology and the environment. TBI activities span over the whole TRL scale (1-9). TBI is jointly operated by INSAT, INRAE (national Centre for Agronomy Research) and CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) and gather around 300 researchers.
– PhD in environmental engineering, electrochemistry, chemistry or related field.
– Practical expertise in bioelectrochemical systems and/or in electrochemical engineering
– Expertise in analytical (IC, HPLC, ICP, LC-MS, etc.) and electrochemical techniques
– Excellent written communication skills and ability to write clearly and succinctly for scientific reports and publications
– Experience in supervising PhD candidates and undergraduates
– Experience in redox flow batteries is a bonus
Please send your application (detailed CV and a cover letter) to Jean-Marie Fontmorin (email@example.com)
Application deadline: Friday, 5th January 2024
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Institution contact information
Laboratoire de Génie Chimique, Toulouse, France
Contact email address