PhD position in electrochemical conversion of CO2 to valuable products

The UFZ offers PhD positions in the framework of the PhD college “Coupling circular economy principles with environmental hazard management for liquid manure-based sustainable agriculture- SmartManure”. The aim of SmartManure is to address on-farm manure management from storage to land application, combining aspects of circular economy with sustainable agriculture, and develop technical solutions based on the joint research within the PhD college (see for more information).

Your tasks in this PhD position:

Liquid manure produces significant amounts of the greenhouse gases CH4 and CO2 during storage on farms. Converting these into value-added chemicals will benefit the environment and contribute to circular economic goals. In this SmartManure subproject, we will develop an electrochemical system for the conversion of released CO2 to valuable chemicals and energy carriers particularly methanol.

Your tasks include:

  • discovering efficient catalysts for electrochemical conversion of CO2 to methanol,
  • establishing an electrochemical platform for reducing CO2 to allow on-farm liquid manure storage,
  • experimental validation and engineering of electrochemical CO2 reduction to methanol at biocompatible conditions,
  • set-up, validation and conduction of methods and protocols needed for the development of process lines and integration,
  • transfer to technical lab scale and assessment of system parameters through early-stage life cycle assessment,
  • method development and use of physical and chemical analysis, especially HPLC and GC,
  • participate in the UFZ graduate school HIGRADE with options for targeted training
  • collaborate with all other PhD candidates of SmartManure
  • providing high quality scientific outputs in the form of journal publications and assisting technology transfer.

We offer

Excellent technical facilities which are without parallel
The freedom you need to bridge the difficult gap between basic research and close to being ready for application
Work in inter-disciplinary, multinational teams
Excellent links with national and international research networks
Excellent support and optimal subject-specific and general training with our HIGRADE graduate school

Your profile

Master’s degree in Chemistry, Bioengineering, Chemical engineering, Environmental Sciences or related fields,
Experience in process development is advantageous,
Readiness for intensive material and process development,
High motivation and team player skills are expected,
Excellent communication skills (English required),
Ability to work independently and motivated to work in an interdisciplinary team.

Additional skills are of added value:

Preference will be given to people highly interested in electrochemistry,
Skills in software and data evaluation,
High degree of organisation and teamwork skills,
Knowledge in basic laboratory analysis

Please submit your application via the link provided below.

Institution contact information

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig, Germany

Contact email address



External link