12-months post-doc offer: catalytic hydrogenation/dehydrogenation of organic liquids for hydrogen storage

This job offer has expired

    Laboratoire de Génie Chimique - CNRS - Toulouse INP - UPS
    ChemistryHeterogeneous catalysis
    ChemistryReaction mechanisms and dynamics
    EngineeringChemical engineering
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    12/11/2021 11:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Toulouse
    StHyLo, Green Hydrogen Key Challenge (Occitanie Region)


This Post-doc offer is part of the project "StHyLO" (Storage of Hydrogen in Organic Liquids), funded by the Occitanie Region within the framework of the "Green Hydrogen" Key Challenge. It will start from January, 1st 2022 at the Chemical Engineering Laboratory of Toulouse (UMR CNRS 5503).

The project aims to explore the addition of hydrogen to unsaturated organic molecules (liquid organic hydrogen carriers, or LOHCs) as a safe and efficient solution for the storage, transport and recovery of this energy carrier. The hydrogen addition to these molecules requires the use of a metal catalyst, generally supported on a solid phase. In order to improve the performance of hydrogen loading/unloading cycles, it is necessary to identify efficient catalysts and favorable operating conditions, as well as to test and develop technologies that guarantee optimal contact between the phases (hydrogen gas, liquid oil and solid catalyst) and efficient heat transfer. The project aims at evaluating the potential of different intensified catalytic reactors exploiting, when relevant, the potential of metal additive manufacturing.

Within the IRPI department of LGC, researchers have been developing a catalytic monolith-type reactor for gas-liquid reactions since 2012. Thanks to recent advances in additive manufacturing techniques, these monoliths can be made of thermally conductive materials (metal or SiC); in their channels, the oil to be hydrogenated can flow with the catalyst powder in suspension, or react on a fine catalytic layer deposited on the channel wall. Some channels of the monolith can be dedicated to the circulation of a heat transfer fluid.

The objective of this project is therefore to lay the groundwork for the evaluation of monolith-heat exchanger reactor technology for the two stages involved in liquid hydrogen storage.

1. This implies, for a given LOHC, the selection of active and stable catalysts – if possible usable for both its hydrogenation and dehydrogenation under moderate conditions (T < 250°C, PH2 < 30 bar). In this exploration phase, the catalysts will be tested in a stirred autoclave reactor as a fine powder mixed with the liquid to be hydrogenated or dehydrogenated, and also as millimeter-sized particles in a fixed basket, at different temperatures and pressures.

2. This step will be followed by the first hydrogenation/dehydrogenation cycles performed in an intensified continuous reactor: a mockup using jacketed single channel tubes, and the selected catalyst either in suspension in the liquid or as a single pellet string reactor (the narrow channels being filled with aligned millimeter-sized particles). The performance of this technology and this catalyst can then be evaluated during operating cycles of the carrier liquids.

3. Finally, an experimental campaign will be carried out at higher flow rates in a second continuous pilot reactor, of fixed bed type. Only the hydrogenation step of the LOHC will be studied here. An innovative gas-liquid distributor, developed at LGC to allow a quasi-homogeneous distribution of the fluids, and manufactured by selective laser sintering, will be tested during this campaign.

The post-doc will be involved in the three tasks of the project, more particularly in tasks 2 and 3, dedicated to the implementation of hydrogenation/dehydrogenation cycles of LOHCs in single channel reactor and their hydrogenation in fixed bed reactor, respectively. He/she will carry out experiments and their modeling in order to size and optimize the production tool. In task 1, he/she will contribute to the results interpretation for kinetic modeling and evaluation of internal mass transfer resistances

Keywords: hydrogen storage; liquid organic hydrogen carriers; hydrogenation/dehydrogenation; multiphase catalytic reactors; reactor intensification

More Information

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: PhD or equivalent
    Chemistry: PhD or equivalent


The recruited person must hold a PhD in chemical engineering / process engineering or in chemistry, preferably related to chemical reaction engineering and multiphase catalytic reactors. She/he should ideally possess general knowledge of hydrogenation mechanisms, coupling between catalytic reaction, hydrodynamics, interphase mass and heat transfer, and the modeling of such phenomena. She/he must be organized, rigorous and autonomous. Finally, a good level of spoken and written English is required.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Laboratoire de Génie Chimique - CNRS - Toulouse INP - UPS
4 allée Emile Monso

EURAXESS offer ID: 694710


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