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21 maart 2018

In framework of the KEROGREEN project funded by the European commission, the Computational Plasma Physics and Chemistry group has a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher.
KEROGREEN offers a novel conversion route to sustainable aviation fuel synthesized from H2O and CO2 powered by renewable electricity. Because the sustainable kerosene emits less soot and no sulphur, it meets future aviation air pollution standards. The conversion is based on plasma driven CO2 dissociation, solid oxide membranes and Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis of kerosene. Synergy between plasma activated species and novel perovskite electrodes of the oxygen separator are expected to raise CO productivity and energy efficiency.
Scientific aim
One of the project objectives of KEROGREEN is enhancing the conversion and energy-efficiency of electrically-driven dissociation of CO2 for fuel synthesis by synergistic integration of plasmolysis, electrolysis and membrane separation. The targeted hybrid approach combines the strengths of plasmolysis and electrolysis, and relieves main disadvantages of both methods. Different trajectories are explored to optimize energy efficiency and yield of CO2 conversion. The first involves the synergistic integration of high-temperature solid oxide cells into the plasma reactor. The integration serves to selectively pump away oxygen from the plasma gas mixture, preventing in this way backward reactions of CO and O2 towards CO2, while shifting the equilibrium towards CO, and/or to enhance CO2 dissociation by additional electrolysis. The second route focuses on increasing the energy efficiency of plasmolysis by creating a non-thermal plasma, i.e., a plasma with a low gas temperature and a high electron temperature. To this end the hybrid plasma reactor under development in the Plasma Solar Fuels Devices group at DIFFER will be improved, enabling advanced control over the plasma properties. Operation of the reactor needs to be supported by comprehensive modelling studies of the plasma physics and chemistry. The approach aims at obtaining more detailed understanding of the reaction mechanisms, which serves as input for the optimization of the overall performance in the hybrid reactor. The position is fully embedded in the 'Solar Fuels' strand of the Institute that strives for excellent fundamental energy research. Modelling, input from diagnostics, and insight into the physics and chemistry interplay are key elements.
The main objectives of the project are modeling implementation and experiments benchmarking and prediction. Modelling of the complex plasma chemistry will be performed under different stoichiometric conditions including surface interactions, in order to optimize CO production yield. Code design, modules merging, code testing and validation are important aspects.

Job description
Responsibilities and tasks
The research tasks are highly interdisciplinary and will combine knowledge in plasma physics and chemistry and plasma-surface interactions as well as gas flow patterns. It will perfectly line up with emerging research lines and granted projects at DIFFER.
• Coordinate the project requirements imposed by the grant provider.
• Implementation and testing of simulations for advanced pilot hybrid plasma reactor specification and design.
• Evaluation and optimization of the reactor performance in synergy with the experiments.
• Dissemination of results (project deliverables and publications).

DIFFER is the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, one of the nine research institutes of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The institute focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to energy research, combining physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science. DIFFER's research takes place in two main themes: Solar Fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and Fusion Energy as a clean and unlimited source of energy. DIFFER develops and supports a national network on fundamental energy research and collaborates closely with the academic community and industrial partners.
In framework of the KEROGREEN project funded by the European commission, the Computational Plasma Physics and Chemistry group has a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher.

We seek enthusiastic candidates that are willing to work in an international and interdisciplinary team of physicists and chemists. The applicant should have a PhD in physics or chemistry or computational science and experience in low temperature plasma modeling preferably with a focus on plasma chemistry. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience in the development and use of computer simulation codes and who have qualifying experience in a scientific research institute. Very good programming skills (e.g. Fortran, C, C++) are essential as well as good verbal and written communication skills in English are mandatory. NWO-I prefers candidates who have qualifying experience (e.g. as PhD student or postdoctoral researcher) in a scientific research institute abroad.

Condition of employments
You will be employed by NWO-I for a fixed period of two years. Your salary will be up to a maximum of 4,089 euro gross per month, depending on your level of experience. The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8 percent and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33 percent. The conditions of employment of NWO-I are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres (Cao-Onderzoekinstellingen), more exclusive information is available at this website under Personeelsinformatie (in Dutch) or under Personnel (in English). General information about working at NWO-I can be found in the English part of this website under Personnel. The 'Job interview code' applies to this position.

Further information on the vacancy is available through the leader of the Computational Plasma Physics and Chemistry group, Dr. P. Diomede, +31 40 333 49 24.

The 'NWO job interview code' applies to this position. DIFFER strives to achieve a diverse workforce to develop talent and creativity by bringing together different perspectives. As such we encourages applications from women and minorities. In case you are interested you can apply by submitting an application letter, a grade list and full resume. Please refer to vacancy 18.002. The letter of application and other documents may be sent electronically as single PDF files.