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PhD Scholarships in Ammonia Electrosynthesis at Monash University

Applications are invited for a PhD position to join Monash University, Australia. Applications are welcome before October 29, 2018.

An exciting opportunity exists for two gifted candidates interested in undertaking a PhD in the field of physical chemistry at Monash University while working towards a project "Ammonia Production from Renewables at Ambient Temperature and Pressure: Developing a process for reduction of nitrogen to ammonia" funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). This project will develop efficient electrode/catalyst combinations for the technology of electrolytic reduction of dinitrogen to ammonia invented and patented by Monash University. The work will involve two PhD projects, which will be undertaken under the supervision of Prof. Douglas R. MacFarlane and Dr. Alexandr N. Simonov.

The work will involve development, synthesis, and thorough testing of new metal-based catalysts for N electroreduction. The aim is to substantially increase the rate and the selectivity of the process currently available with the state of the art iron and ruthenium monometallic electrocatalysts via doping and/or mixing with other elements and/or compounds. Strategies for the immobilisation of new catalysts on high surface area substrates will be also investigated. A critical feature of the project will be comprehensive characterisation of the catalysts using a wide range of ex situ physical methods, as well as insitu specotroscopic techniques.

The project will focus on the electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction kinetics and selectivity as a function of pressure and temperature. To work will include both extensive experimental tests and theoretical simulation and modelling studies. In particular, DFT calculations of molecular level interactions between reactant, product(s), electrolyte, solvent and catalysts will be undertaken to lend insights into the reaction mechanism and predict the effects of system parameters (pressure, temperature, concentrations) on the efficiency of the process. This will facilitate guided electrolyte and catalyst design which will be important for other aspects of the project.

For international applicants, scholarships can also include the Monash University international student fees (40300 AUD per annum)

To submit an expression of interest application, please email the following documents to Dr.AlexandrN.Simonov as PDF attachments:


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