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Manipulation of plasma species generation in an Advanced Oxidation Process

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, October 06, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

INNOVEOX – Training of a new generation of researchers in Innovative Electrochemical Oxidation processes for the removal and analysis of micro-pollutants in water streams

It has been demonstrated that organic chemical pollutants are still putting half of the European freshwater system at risk. The INNOVEOX R&D training network was built to address and provide a solution for this considerable challenge: to boost innovative electrochemical wastewater treatment techniques to effectively degrade highly hazardous organic micro-pollutants, reducing environmental pollution and improving the European quality of life and health. By setting up a training frame to educate the next generation of highly-qualified ESRs in one of the most promising fields in micro-pollutant degradation, this will enable to generate important innovations, necessary to create a new level of EU excellence and reinforce EU R&D capacity in the field.

Research project: Cold plasma generated in air at atmospheric pressure produces an abundance of Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species (ROS and RNS). Recently, it has been shown that such plasmas created in and in-contact with water are capable of rapidly and efficiently degrading micro-pollutants. Critically, the composition of air plasma is extremely complex (75+ chemical species, >750 reactions). Tailoring the electrical properties of the plasma source to enhance the production of ROS whilst simultaneously reducing the production of undesirable RNS remains a key challenge for any plasma based AOP technology. This ESR will explore the use of nanosecond pulsed excitation as a means to preferentially produce ROS species. Short duration pulses produce energetic electrons, which ultimately lead to an increased production of highly oxidative O and OH species. To achieve this, the ESR will develop an advanced nanosecond-pulsed plasma generator and fully characterize the plasma using advanced plasma diagnostic techniques (optical emission, mass spectroscopy, laser induced fluorescence and FTIR). To complement the experimental measurements, the ESR will have access to an advanced air plasma computational model. The pulse parameters (rise time, duration and repetition rate) will be optimized to maximize ROS production. Finally, the degradation efficiency of the optimized pulsed plasma source will be compared against conventional plasma generation techniques and alternate Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) technologies. For this, the generated degradation products will be identified in close collaboration with other ESR’s in the consortium.

In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

Conditions of international mobility of researchers: Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

On-line Recruitment Procedure: All applications proceed through the on-line recruitment portal on the website. Candidates provide all requested information including a detailed CV (Europass format obligatory). During the registration, applicants will need to prove that they are eligible, according to the ESR definition, mobility criteria, and English language proficiency. The deadline for the on-line registration is 6 October 2019. The Innoveox Recruitment Committee selects between 20 and maximum 30 candidates for the Recruitment Event which will take place in Leuven (21 November 2019).

Funding Notes

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for Early Stage Researchers. The exact (net) salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on local tax regulations and on the country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). The salary includes a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married). The guaranteed PhD funding is for 36 months.

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