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New PhD opportunities through INPhINIT Fellowships funded by La Caixa

The ECPU of IMDEA Energy offers a PhD project in the framework of the INPhINIT Fellowships funded by La Caixa. This program offers 35 fellowships for early-stage researchers of any nationality to pursue their PhD studies in research centres accredited with the Spanish Seal of Excellence Severo Ochoa, María de Maeztu or Health Institute Carlos III and Portuguese units accredited as “excellent” or “exceptional” according to the evaluation of the Fundação de Ciência e Tecnologia. 


PhD fellowship "la Caixa INPHINIT" in Emerging Contaminant Removal by Energy-Efficient Electrochemical Processes

The occurrence, distribution and environmental risk of emerging pollutants in water is attracting the attention of the scientific community, especially in the Mediterranean area where the economy is strongly linked to a clean and safe environment. The main goal of this project is to develop cost-effective, sustainable and innovative electrode materials along with the design an electrochemical cell that allow for the capture, separation and/or degradation, microplastics and organic pollutants (MOP) from water treatment plants.
This proposal will be focused on developing innovative electrodes as an easy-to-scale platform for capturing and removing MOP species with low energy consumption. The project includes an evaluation of the most suitable electrode shapes according to the cell design.

The new electrodes will be used to capture the MOP by electrochemical adsorption. The electric potential can be here used to tune the adsorption and desorption behavior of activated carbon electrodes. This treatment option will focus on the electroadsorption of the pollutants from the feed stream and the electrodischarge/desorption of the pollutants in a secondary stream, so that pollutants will not be degraded but separated from the feed stream. Alternatively, when the electric potential is sufficiently increased, partial or total oxidation of the adsorbed pollutants can occur completing the mineralization of the MOP.

The Electrochemical Processes Unit (ECPU) of IMDEA Energy has a background of 12 years on developing different kinds of electrode materials for electrochemical energy storage and environmental applications. ECPU capacities include the design of materials, components, cells and stack reactors; manufacturing of prototypes laboratory and pilot prototypes using 3D design and printing techniques; characterization of materials; testing of cells and stacks; and engineering of full processes integrating the electrochemical reactors. These capacities are covering technology readiness levels from TRL 1 to 5.

The Institute IMDEA Energy is a Research Centre created by the Regional Government of “Comunidad de Madrid” to develop world-class R&D on clean and renewable energy. The aim of the Institute is to make a significant impact in all energy-related research topics by bringing together high quality researchers, providing them with excellent infrastructures and resources and promoting their close collaboration with the industrial sector. The Electrochemical Processes Unit of IMDEA Energy is a multicultural working group composed by a team of more than 20 people from different nationalities, using English as the main working language.
The Electrochemical Processes Unit of IMDEA Energy is opening a PhD position with the following characteristics:

Your tasks:
• Preparation of innovative electrodes with different structures.
• Assembling electrochemical reactors from small laboratory cells to pilot prototypes.
• Electrochemical characterization of materials, components, cells and reactors.
• Evaluation of MOP removal capacity and energy consumption of prototypes under different operational modes.

Your Qualification, Experience and Skills:
• Compulsory:
- Being in possession of an official Degree in Chemistry, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering or equivalent, having less than 4 years in possession of this official degree.
- Knowledge in electrochemistry.
- Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

• Recommended:
- Being in possession of an official Master Degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Energy Engineering, Materials Engineering or equivalent.
- Knowledge and experience in materials characterization.
- Experience on analytical techniques.

We offer:
• The principles of the European Charter for Researchers and of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers will be applied in the evaluation and selection procedure.
• A personalized carrier plan will be created for the selected candidate, including training and mobility activities. Specifically, a research stay for at least 3 months in a prestigious foreign center will be programmed.

What is funded:
Three annual payments of €34,800 each. Where applicable, the amounts corresponding to the Social Security contributions payable by the employer (in this case, the host institution), as well as any other compulsory fee, whether current or that may be provided for in a future legal framework, will be deducted from the yearly gross amount of €34,800 to be received by the fellow, plus €3.564 per year for additional costs (conferences, courses, etc.). An additional prize of €7.500 is paid upon completion of the PhD.
Duration: 3 years
Mobility: Candidates cannot have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than twelve months in the three years immediately prior to the deadline for applications.
Application and documentation: Candidates must apply using the online application platform available in the “Fellowships” section on the ”la Caixa” Foundation website. The application must be completed entirely in English.


Deadline: 4 February 2021 at 2 pm (Central European Time - CET). 

For more information, please contact Julio J. Lado (julio.ladoThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Jesús Palma (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Tags: Redox Flow Batteries, Electrochemical Energy Storage, POLYSTORAGE, Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant , Job Opportunity