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Portail > Offres > Offre UMR6506-MOHELR-002 - H/F Post-doctorant en photocatalyse: Nouveaux matériaux pour la déhydrogénation photocatalytique de l'acid formique (AF) sous lumière visible

New materials for a photocatalytic formic acid dehydrogenation under visible light

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : mardi 1 décembre 2020

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General information

Reference : UMR6506-MOHELR-002
Workplace : CAEN
Date of publication : Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Type of Contract : FTC Scientist
Contract Period : 17 months
Expected date of employment : 1 February 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : Around 3800€/month (brut salary, depending of the experience)
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : Indifferent


Formic acid (HCOOH) is currently considered one of the most promising compounds for the chemical storage of hydrogen. In particular, formic acid (FA), as a non-toxic and non-flammable material, contains 4.4 wt.% of hydrogen. It was considered as a promising source of hydrogen due to its thermodynamically favorable decomposition into H2 and CO2 (∆G = −32.8 kJ mol-1). Formic acid can also be used directly as a fuel in fuel cells (DFAFC). However, FA dehydration into CO and H2O may also occur as an undesirable and competitive pathway of FA dehydrogenation (∆G = -20.7 kJ mol-1). CO is a very effective poison for the catalysts generally used in H2 fuel cells: its concentration must be less than 20ppm! Therefore, the main challenge in exploiting FA as a practical hydrogen carrier is to find catalysts that allow highly selective decomposition of FA to H2 /CO2 rather than CO/H2O with high efficiency and high flow rate at ambient conditions.
This project aims the development of new materials for the photocatalytic decomposition of FA. The following criteria are requested for such materials: abundant, active under visible light, stable in acidic media, and selective.


Mains Tasks:
-Bibliography on the FA dehydrogenation (thermal and photocatalytic) and selection of potential candidate for this reaction.
-Synthesis of new structures for the photocatalytic dehydrogenation of FA under visible light (basing on the preliminary information on their reduction/oxidation potential)
-Electrochemical and photochemical characterizations of the new structures
-Performing the photocatalytic tests of the HCOOH dehydrogenation
Secondary tasks:
-Co-supervising of student(s) working on a similar project
-Writing report at the end of the project and paper(s) in case of positive results


Candidates must have a Ph.D. degree in catalysis, photocatalysis, electrocatalysis, or related field. The ideal candidate for this position must have a strong expertise in sol-gel, hydrothermal, and or organometallic synthesis for the preparation of (photo)catalysts. Soilid knowledge in Photo(electro)-chemical characterization techniques (cyclic voltammetry, UV-visible, laser flash photolysis, etc.) of the materials and in photocatalysis is strongly appreciated. English, both written and spoken, is essential; French knowledge is beneficial.
Please attach to the cover letter outlining the applicant's relevant research experience and motivation for applying to the position a detailed CV and contact details for potential referees.

Work Context

The Catalysis and Spectrochemistry Laboratory prepares, studies and evaluates heterogeneous catalysts in the field of environment and sustainable development.
He built his reputation by specializing in the description of the catalyst in operation, in particular the operando spectroscopy of the catalyst, i.e. its observation in the reactor during the reaction.
With a very strong pole in infrared spectroscopy, but also in NMR and Raman spectroscopy, the LCS occupies a unique place in the field of automotive pollution control (exhaust catalysts), in the production of energy (refining, biofuels) and in the field of bio-resources. For the past 10 years, the LCS has been a major player in the design, preparation and modification of porous nanomaterials for catalysis or adsorption applications, with also emerging applications (sensors, membranes, oil purifications, health, etc.).
The LCS research is conducted in collaboration with numerous laboratories from the French and international academic world (Lille, Poitiers, Lyon, Lisbon, Valencia, Zurich, Leuven …). The LCS has established an international laboratory with two Chinese universities: Jilin University and DICP (Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics).
The laboratory collaborates with the main manufacturers of the field in France and abroad: Total, PSA, IFP, UOP, Rhodia, Evonik, Grace, Toyota, Michelin, St-Gobain … As such, an industrial chair with TOTAL was created by the ANR.
The LCS is also a member of the Carnot Institute ESP (Energy and Propulsion System) to develop the industrial partnership. Added to this is LCSValoris which offers industrial services in analysis and contract studies.

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