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Reference : UMR7515-ELESAV-003
Workplace : STRASBOURG
Date of publication : Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : E. Savinova, G. Kéranguéven, A. Bonnefont
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 September 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
Growth of the renewable electricity production in the last decade has greatly increased the attractivity of electrochemical methods for production of value-added chemicals, in particular those issued from biomass. However the development of noble metal-free electrode materials, which allow selective and energy-efficient production of value-added chemicals from biomass is still a challenge. This PhD offer has received funding from ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche – French National Research Agency) within a collaborative multidisciplinary project, whose objective is to develop a continuous electrocatalytic reactor, free from strategic platinum group metals, and allowing simultaneous production of gluconic acid at the anode and sorbitol at the cathode.
Goals and workplan: The objective of this PhD project is to develop and investigate Ni-based nanomaterials for selective and energy-efficient oxidation of glucose to gluconate and its reduction to sorbitol. The PhD work will comprise the preparation of mono- and bimetallic Ni nanoparticles by electrodeposition, their characterization by physical (microscopic, spectroscopic) and electrochemical methods. The main focus of the PhD project is on the understanding of the reaction kinetics and mechanisms in order to propose knowledge-based means to improve activity, selectivity and stability to poisoning of Ni-based catalysts of glucose oxidation and reduction. This goal will be achieved by combining electrochemical measurements with operando infra-red spectroscopy, analytical tools (HPLC, NMR, online Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry), and modeling.
Profile of the candidate: We are looking for highly motivated, rigorous and enthusiastic candidates with an excellent academic track record, graduated in physical chemistry, electrochemistry, or materials chemistry. Knowledge of/experience in electrochemistry will be an advantage. It is desirable that the fellow has a genuine interest in interdisciplinary projects, spanning from fundamental research to applications. English proficiency is required.
This doctoral thesis will be jointly supervised by the "Electrochemistry and Energy Conversion" team at the Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (UMR 7515, CNRS-University of Strasbourg) under the supervision of Elena Savinova and Gwenaëlle Kéranguéven and the Electrochemistry team of the Strasbourg Institute of Chemistry (UMR 7177, CNRS - University of Strasbourg), under the supervision of Antoine Bonnefont. It will rely on the utilization of various electrochemical, spectroscopic and structural characterization techniques available at the ICPEES and the Institute of Chemistry.
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