Power-to-methane (PtM) is a highly attractive prospect as it allows the storage and distribution of intermittent renewable energy via existing gas grid infrastructure with the added benefit of CO2 utilisation. Conventional PtM concepts involve integration of a water/steam electrolysis unit for H2 production with a CO2 methanation unit. However, proton-conducting ceramic electrolyser offer the unique opportunity to combine both processes into a single unit as shown in the figure below and thereby decrease plant complexity and improve overall process efficiency.

In this project, in collaboration with our partners Shell and EIFER, you will investigate the feasibility of such an integrated concept. Your principal task will be the development of a high-fidelity thermo-electrochemical model of the integrated cell capturing the various transport phenomena and electrochemical and thermochemical heterogeneous reactions. The goal will be to provide guidelines for cell design parameters (e.g. electrode and electrolyte thicknesses, electrode porosity, ceramic volume fractions, catalyst loading) and operating conditions (e.g. applied current, temperature, inlet gas flow rates) that lead to acceptable thermal gradients across the cell and optimal CO2 conversion and CH4 selectivity. These guidelines will then be used by EIFER to construct and operate such a cell, and, in turn, check the validity of the model.


  • You hold a PhD in a field that is related to this project.
  • You have a track record in thermo-electrochemical modelling of high temperature proton-conducting ceramic cells or solid oxide cells.
  • You are familiar with fully implicit and/or implicit-explicit methods to solve variable mass-matrix ordinary differential equation (ODE) systems and/or differential-algebraic equation (DAE) systems.
  • You have experience coding in C/Python/Julia.


  • Fulltime position for 12 months, starting January/February 2023
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment.
  • The salary amounts, depending on education and experience, minimal € 3.557,- to a maximum of € 4.670,- gross per month in case of a fulltime employment.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • The number of holiday hours for full-time employment is 232 hours per calendar year.
  • Professional and personal development programmes.


Your application should include a Cover Letter and Curriculum Vitae (CV) that illustrates why you fit the position by specifically addressing the points under the “Your Profile” section above. The CV should also include the name and e-mail address for at least two references.

For inquiries about the position, please contact Dr. Aayan Banerjee (a.banerjee@utwente.nl). Please apply via the link below. The application deadline is October 7, 2022. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.


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