New project on thin film deposition on biochar: PhD wanted


The project CARBONS (catalyzing research on biochar to obtain new surfaces) is a collaboration between DRAFT and TCCB (Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass). CARBONS will propel both research teams to the front of a largely uncharted research area, where a shared interest in surface engineering is the main driver to answer the call for interdisciplinary research. More specifically, various agricultural and urban residues are to be converted to ultimately metal-decorated carbon materials. To do so, thermochemical conversions (carbonization and activation) are combined with magnetron sputtering to deposit thin films and nanoparticles on these carbons. Analysis of these metal-deposited carbons by means of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy takes a large share in this proposal. Indeed, both teams identified various points to optimize XPS analysis, which requires concerted research endeavors to remediate these. The metal-decorated carbons will be tested for their catalytic activity in steam reforming and methanation. These catalytic processes can help in off-setting daily and seasonal variability in renewable energy production.

The research group DRAFT seeks one PhD student for this project. Interested? Contact Diederik Depla