Internship | Novel Sea Water Electrolysis: Concept, Reactor Construction and Proof of Concept
What will be your role?
Electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen fuel is an attractive renewable energy storage technology. Commercially available water electrolyzers generally operate on high purity water feeds that are achieved by incorporating costly water purification/desalination systems into the overall electrolyzer design which further entail regular maintenance/repair costs. The ability of operate the electrolyzer for hydrogen production directly with sea-water, allows for the removal of the desalinization and purification step which might result in a decrease of the overall process cost.
Water electrolysis is the greenest method to achieve high quality hydrogen production if sustainable electricity is utilized. Proposed novel reactor design could enable low grade/sea water electrolysis as a direct feed without pre-conditioning (desalinisation). This would provide an innovative, durable and sustainable solution to produce H2 from renewable energy sources. Additionally, the novel concept is general and can become a platform technology applicable to other power to chemicals production processes. Examples include electrochemical conversion of CO2 to fuels (e.g. ethylene, ethanol, etc.).
Pure-water feeds may become a bottleneck if hydrogen electrolyzer technology is aimed to be deployed in hot arid regions around the world that have limited access to freshwater yet plenty of access to ocean seawater. Coastal arid zones with ample potential for photovolatic and wind-power based electricity are therefore prime candidates for direct low grade/sea water electrolysis. Examples esp. include off-shore coastal areas in Southern Europe, Arabian Peninsula, Australia, etc, for large-scale hydrogen production where simplification in engineering by eliminating water purification systems would have a great impact on the economic viability of such installations.
What we expect from you
Address selectivity towards desired products by designing a novel reactor
- Understanding seawater electrocatalysis limitations and fine-tuning the novel reactor for highest efficiency of electrocatalyst operation, among others.
- What are the key performance indicators (kpi) corresponding to optimal operation of the reactor?
- How can the stability of the system be improved?
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.