Type dienstverband:
Internship and graduation project
Uren per week:
Fulltime – 40

Internship | Electrofuels

About this position

Rising CO2 levels and its negative impact on the global climate is a major problem facing humanity today.[1] Apart from the large scale efforts being taken to curb on the Carbon Dioxide emissions, another alternative is to sequester it at large scale industrial emitter and further electrochemically convert the CO2 to organic feedstocks/valuable compounds like, methanol, ethylene, formic acid, etc. A key technological challenge to enable such a process is the synthesis of catalysts that reduce the CO2 at low over-potentials and generate the desired products at high current densities and do so without forming unwanted by-products.[2] The CO2 reduction reactions are typically carried out in CO2 saturated aqueous electrolyte solutions. In this mode of working the CO2 molecules are solubilized in an aqueous electrolyte and reduced on the surface of a catalyst. The major drawback of using this kind of setup is the low current densities (1mA cm-2) due to the poor solubility of CO2 in aqueous electrolytes (34mM). [3] [4] To overcome this problem of low current densities which limit the scalability to industrial purposes, vapour phase reactors (Gas Diffusion Electrodes) have been proposed as possible alternatives. These reactors overcome the solution phase mass transport limitations by providing hydrophobic channels that deliver the gaseous reactants to the catalyst which is wetted by the liquid electrolyte. [3] 1.ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt 2.Kuhl, Kendra P., et al. "New insights into the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide on metallic copper surfaces." Energy & Environmental Science 5.5 (2012): 7050-7059. 3.Ripatti, Donald S., Thomas R. Veltman, and Matthew W. Kanan. "Carbon monoxide gas diffusion electrolysis that produces concentrated C2 products with high single-pass conversion." Joule 3.1 (2019): 240-256. 4.Higgins, Drew, et al. "Gas-diffusion electrodes for carbon dioxide reduction: a new paradigm." ACS Energy Letters 4.1 (2018): 317-324.

What will be your role?

In this internship CO2 Reduction will be studied to produce ethylene on Copper nano/micro structured catalyst due to their propensity. The copper based nanostructures will be synthesized using electrodeposition of copper based plating solutions directly onto the catalyst support felts. This streamlines the synthesis process of the catalysts in comparison to the conventional techniques wherein a wet-chemically synthesized catalyst has to be concentrated and spray coated onto the catalyst support felts.
An approximate description of the activities to be encountered during this project are:

  • Performing literature review and gain acquainted with:
    • Materials to produce ethylene via electrocatalysis;
    • Synthesis methods;
    • Supports;
  • CO2 reduction in electrocatalysis;
    • Investigation of strategies to form particles in the range of nano-sizes with different shapes;
    • Performing experiments in a chemical lab;
    • Investigating the Scaling-up synthesis process;
    • Electrode characterization;
    • Analyzing the experimental data and preparing presentations;
  • Participating in active discussion with colleagues about your results;
  • Reporting and presenting your findings.

The approximate duration of this internship is six months (24 weeks).

What we expect from you

  • The duration of this internship is at least 6 months. Please clearly mention duration availability and starting period in your application;
  • Interest in the energy transition;
  • High motivation, with a curious nature and a taste for problem-solving;
  • Ability to work autonomously within a small team and good social skills to get the information you need from the most knowledgeable people around you.
  • Good communication skills (in English).

What you'll get in return

You want an internship opportunity on the precursor of your career; an internship 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. Furthermore, we provide:

  • A highly professional, innovative internship environment, within a team of top experts.
  • A suitable internship allowance (615 euro for wo-, hbo- and mbo-students, for a full-time internship).
  • Possibility of eight hours of free leave per internship month (for a full-time internship).
  • A free membership of Jong TNO, where you can meet other TNO professionals and join several activities, such as sports activities, (work-related) courses or the yearly ski-trip.
  • Use of a laptop.
  • An allowance for travel expenses in case you don’t receive an OV-card.

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.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

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.

Important to be aware of before applying:

  • Before the start of the internship, the internship agreement from TNO needs to be signed. For students at a college or university based in the Netherlands, TNO uses the UNL-template (supplemented with a number of specific agreements from TNO). For students of foreign and MBO educational institutions, the TNO internship agreement applies. TNO does not sign any other internship agreements.
  • Before the start of the internship, the educational institution will need to confirm in writing that:
    • you are enrolled at the educational institution during the internship, and;
    • the internship takes place as part of the programme of the study.
  • The confirmation of educational institution takes place by signing the UNL template or forms prepared by TNO.
  • Interns at TNO must be in possession of a Dutch residential address at the start of the internship. Performance of internship activities from abroad is not possible.

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.