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PhD Student Non Thermal plasma N2 fixation

Chemical Engineering and ChemistryThe Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry provides academic education and research at the highest international …

8 maanden geleden


de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


Chemical Engineering and ChemistryThe Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry provides academic education and research at the highest international standards. Staff develop technology and scientific knowledge, thereby meeting long-term societal needs. Scientific curiosity and new insights in the department's field are the points of departure for constant improvement of its areas of expertise in the two thematic clusters Molecular Systems & Materials Chemistry and Chemical & Process Technology. The department was founded in 1957, and has some 500 staff members, 14 full-time professors, 470 Bachelor's and Master's students, 50 Post-Master's students and 190 doctoral candidates.Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)TU/e is a leading international university of technology specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. Through excellent teaching and research we contribute to progress in the technical sciences, to the development of technological innovations, and as a result to the growth of prosperity and welfare in the region and beyond. TU/e maintains close links with industry, healthcare and the building and logistics sectors.

Project description

The aim of this research project is to develop a plasma-assisted nitrogen fixation process tailored for modern hydroponics. Material such as air and water will be used to produce liquid fertilizer through non-thermal plasma, and the process will be coupled to the soilless cultivation systems. Through a combination of automatic in-line dosage unit, liquid fertilizer will be supplied to on site and on demand.

The research tasks of this PhD candidate include:

(1) Investigate the nitrogen fixation by non-thermal plasma.

The production of NOx from air by plasma will be studied. The proof of concept has been studied by the research team in TU/e, the PhD student will follow this research line and increase the productivity to reach a level which could satisfy the demands of a real case greenhouse. Study of plasma-catalysis will be involved to convert all nitrite to nitrate. Energy efficiency of the plasma reactor will also be investigated.

(2) Develop a containerized mobile, on-demand production platform.

The student will work on the process design and development of plasma-based liquid fertilizer production system. Consideration will be taken on both the process-chemical and plant-biology side. Such system will include absorption flow technology and Process Analytical Technology to ensure the flexibility and feasibility of fertilizer supply to hydroponics for 'precision agriculture'

(3) Sustainability assessment and economic evaluation

The whole process will be assessed 'from cradle to plant grave', potential hazard with the life-cycle perspective and economic feasibility of the developed technology will be evaluated.

Project background

Nitrogen is an essential element to plants, animals, human beings and all the other living things on earth. Nitrogen fixation which converts inert atmospheric nitrogen molecules into active nitrogen compounds such as ammonia or nitric oxide, is a very important chemical process. The Harber-Bosch process plays the dominant role in chemical nitrogen fixation, however, it consumes large amount of energy and raises environmental concerns. Recently, non-thermal plasma process has been considered as a promising alternative approach, it has many advantages such as one-step synthesis, fast reaction, instant control, suitable for small-scale and decentralized production. In addition, the plasma process could be powered by renewable energy and working without greenhouse gas emission or waste production, making the process environment-friendly. </p


Job requirements
The PlasmaPonics project is divided in two sub-projects carried out by a PhD student and a postdoc. These sub-projects are heavily interrelated and are carried out in close collaboration with the University of Wageningen. The ideal candidate has an M.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering or related discipline. A sound background in physical transport phenomena, chemical reactor design and/or applied catalysis is required. Other requirements are excellent analytic and communicative skills. You are fluent in English and you like to work in a multidisciplinary team.</p


Conditions of employment
We offer a challenging job for four years in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious University. You will work with innovative analytic equipment and you will be part of a highly profiled multidisciplinary collaboration where expertise of a variety of disciplines comes together. The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world en part of the European technology hotspot 'Brainport Eindhoven'; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists! The gross monthly salary in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), starts with € 2.266,- in the first year to € 2.897,- in the fourth year. Besides this the TU/e has holiday- and end-of the year allowances, an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees and a modern sports complex. Especially for PhD students the TU/e also offers opportunities for personal development. We do this by offering every PhD student a series of courses that are part of the Proof program as an excellent addition to your scientific education.</p

Additionele informatie


More information about the project can be obtained from Prof.dr. Fausto Gallucci (e-mail: F.Gallucci(at)tue.nl). More information about the Eindhoven University of Technology at: www.tue.nl. More information about job conditions and application can be obtained with Mrs. Linda van den Boomen (email: l.j.c.v.d.boomen(at)tue.nl)


Please upload your application (consisting of a motivation letter, curriculum vitae, list of courses followed (with grades) and the name and email address of at least two references).

You can only apply via de website of the Technical University of Eindhoven, with the "Apply now button"

Applications will be considered as of this moment until December 15th, 2018. </p