Ph.D PhD Fellowship in Chemical Engineering

at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway

1 PhD fellowship in Chemical Engineering, palladium based membranes in catalytic reactions
Pd-based alloys are promising membrane candidates for application in membrane reactors. A main drawback has been the material cost, which is related to the thickness (>20 ?m for commercial membranes). SINTEF has developed and protected manufacturing technology for membranes with thickness down to 1 ?m that significantly improves flux and reduces materials costs. Further challenges include inhibition, or flux reduction, from species that occur in relevant reactant/product mixtures in hydrogen production from hydrocarbons or biomass, such as carbon monoxide and sulphur compounds. Recent research breakthroughs achieved by the partners indicate opportunities for improved control of such inhibition.

The main objective of the project is to understand critical features related to Pd-alloy membrane stability in steam reforming and water-gas shift reactions, which will enable technology development for broad use in hydrogen production. The PhD fellowship is directed towards studies of Pd-based membranes under steam reforming and WGS conditions, with particular focus of establishing the connection between composition and/or pre-treatment, and the surface phenomena involved in hydrogen transport and inhibition. Novel Pd-alloy compositions will be prepared by magnetron sputtering, targeting to improve CO and H2S tolerance and temperature stability. The state-of-the-art SINTEF two-stage Pd-alloy membrane technology, based on the magnetron sputtering technique provides a basis for breakthrough development in this respect. Reaction laboratories are available and kinetic modelling may be included in the research. Collaboration on and utilization of relevant synthesis (sputtering) and characterization competence and infrastructure (e.g. AFM, XPS, TEM) are part of the project.

Please see the full advertisement on NTNUs homepage:

Funding Notes
PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, LR 20 in the State salary scale 45-49, gross NOK 355.400 to NOK 380.700 per annum (before tax). PhD candidates start at wage level 45. There will be a 2 % deduction to The Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

An application with a CV, certified copies of transcripts and reference letters is to be submitted electronically through, with the reference number NT-61/09. Preferably, we want the attachments in one file.

Further information can be obtained from Associate Professor Hilde Venvik, Department of Chemical Engineering, NTNU, e-mail:, Tel +47 73592831.

For more Information about the Department please look at our web page

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Published at 01-10-2009
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