Internship | Electrochemical production from CO2 and further conversion of oxalic acid



Education type


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will be your role?

The contribution of renewable energy sources in the total energy generation mix is steadily rising. One of the issues of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, is intermittency and therefore electricity price variation. Cheap electricity improves the business case of electrochemical production of chemicals as they usually require significant energy for chemical conversions. Additionally, electrochemical production and utilization of renewable electricity and bio-based renewable chemicals improves significantly sustainability of the production. At TNO, we focus on development such electrochemical conversion processes, which includes fundamental studies, followed by optimization of the conversion to industrially relevant and economically feasible conditions, techno-economic analysis and up-scaling.

Within this project, you will investigate the electrochemical conversion of oxalic acid to different added value products such as glycolic acid. This is a follow up process from the electrochemical conversion of CO2 to oxalic acid.
The project consists on two parts: Firstly, an experimental part where you will research different reaction conditions for the suitability of the desired conversion. You will screen different materials and electrolytes for the development and optimization of the electrochemical reaction.
Secondly, when the technical feasibility of the electrochemical reaction is proven, the further purification and separation of the product formed will be evaluated. Depending on availability of lab space, this part can be done experimentally or theoretically. In addition, once the electrochemical and further separation and purification process are defined, the overall process will be designed and its economical feasibility will be assessed.

Under guidance of TNO, you will propose solutions to optimize such processes further. Working closely with experienced process engineers and electrochemists you will contribute to the process design and optimization.
You will learn analytical techniques such as gas chromatography (GC) and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) , electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammetry and chronopotentiometry or chronoamperometry, separation techniques such as distillation or crystallization and modelling techniques.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

We expect that you
  • will be enthusiastic and eager to learn more about electrochemistry;
  • have an engineering background and skills for modelling activities;
  • will be interested in optimizing the reaction and the setup for higher yields and selectivity towards the desired products;
  • have good communication skills in English (oral and written);
  • will show a great deal of autonomy and have a structured approach in your work;
  • are an organized person with attention to detail.

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Contact: Elena Perez Gallent
Phone number:

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now



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