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Doctoral thesis (M/F). Selective anode catalysts for fuel cells

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

Date Limite Candidature : jeudi 29 juillet 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR5253-FREJAO-004
Date of publication : Thursday, July 8, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Frédéric Jaouen
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 November 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The topics of the thesis are the synthesis, structural and electrochemical characterisation of novel anode catalysts for the electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen in acidic electrolyte. This project is in collaboration with a company developping electrocatalysts and membrane-electrode-assemblies for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The thesis' objective is the formulation of anode catalysts with improved selectivity and robustness compared to the state-of-the-art, which will be investigated by modifying their chemical composition and architecture at nanometric scale. The synthesized catalysts will be powders with high specific surface area that will be characterised with appropriate methods (X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, physi- and chemi-sorption methods, etc). The prepared catalysts will be systematically investigated with a rotating disk electrode setup in order to establish correlations between synthesis, structure, electrochemical activity, stability and selectivity. One of the challenges is the improved tolerance of anode catalysts, in particular to carbon monoxide and sulfur compounds, present as trace amounts in reformed hydrogen, Downselected catalysts will be studied and tested in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

Work Context

The thesis will be carried out within the Institut Charles Gerhardt de Montpellier, a mixed research unit between CNRS, Montpellier University and ENSCM. The cluster "Electrochemistry for Energy" investigates and develops key materials for various electrochemical energy conversion devices, including batteries, electrochemical supercapacitors, fuel cells and electrolysers. Regarding fuel cells, the laboratory is internationally recognized for its work on novel membranes and catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, spanning from the synthesis of novel materials to their integration in fuel cell.

Constraints and risks

A good level in English will be an asset

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