Course paper / final thesis

Hot commissioning of a low temperature CO2 electrolysis cell and investigating the impact of gas and liquid pressure on the cathodes performance

Starting date


Duration of contract

6 - 8 months

Type of employment

Full-time (part-time possible)

"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Your mission:

The DLR’s Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics is working on the utilization of technologies of energy conversion that are efficient and gentle on resources as well as on the accelerated utilization of renewable energies. Within this context the Department of Electrochemical Energy Technology at Stuttgart, Germany, invites applicants from all over the world to work with us.

Closing the anthropogenic carbon cycle is one of the major challenges for the present mankind. Low temperature electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to useful chemicals can contribute to the solution of this problem by changing the role of CO2 from harmful waste to a valuable feedstock. The electrolyzer operates with renewable energy and CO2 taken from concentrated off-gas of industrial plants. One of the main challenges of this process is to bring gaseous CO2 in contact with the catalyst and the aqueous phase to maintain high space-time-yields. By applying porous gas-diffusion electrodes instead of plane electrodes the triple-phase-boundary - reaction zone - is significantly increased. One of the most important parameter for the overall electrochemical performance of these gas-diffusion electrodes is the wetting behavior as it determines the amount of accessible catalyst and transport of reactants to and products from the active sites. Additionally to the intrinsic properties of the CO2 consuming electrode the wetting can be controlled by the electrolysis process parameters. In detail the pressure ratio of the liquid electrolyte and the gaseous CO2 phase affects the wetting behavior of a gas-diffusion electrode tremendously.

The tasks for this master thesis are:

  • starting up the test bench for low temperature CO2 electrolysis
  • creating an understanding of the interplay between the electrolysis system with the liquid and gaseous reaction product quantification (µ-GC, UV spectroscopy)
  • evaluating the influence of the gas and liquid pressure at the cathode side on the electrochemical performance (current densities, long-term stability and Faraday efficiencies)

Your qualifications:

  • studies in chemical engineering, process engineering or chemistry
  • constant high level of motivation and enjoyment of experimental work
  • knowledge of electrochemistry and physical chemistry advantageous
  • very good English or German speaking and writing

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for men and women. Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Dr Norbert Wagner
Phone: +49 711 6862-631

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Fabian Bienen
Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics

Phone: +49 711 6862-8002

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Vacancy 28701

HR department Stuttgart

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DLR site Stuttgart

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