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PhD Scholarship in thermochemical energy storage materials for concentrating solar thermal power

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Mark Paskevicius
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

This Research-only PhD is directed towards developing high temperature materials that store thermochemical energy for large-scale solar thermal plants so they can operate 24/7. New gas-solid energy storage materials will be synthesised and catalysed by mechanochemical and wet-chemical methods. The thermochemical materials may be metal carbonates that release/store CO2 or metal hydrides that release/store H2 gas. The gas-solid reactions will be conducted from 500-1000 degC. The thermochemical properties of these materials (i.e. enthalpy and entropy) will be determined and they will be tested in prototype test facilities for gas-solid reactions during thermal cycling, simulating a full-scale solar facility. The technology will be directed towards up-scaling to realise multi-kg test beds. The PhD will be conducted within the Fuels and Energy Technology Institute (FETI) at Curtin University, which is equipped with an array of world-class research equipment and facilities. You will specialise in materials chemistry, X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, and other characterisation techniques.

Funding Notes

Scholarship will provide AUD$27,596 per year (tax-free for 3 years) to applicant and course fees will also be waived.

You will ideally have a background in materials science (Masters level). You will form part of a world-class team of researchers in a group with 5 post doctoral fellows and 5 other PhD students working in energy storage. Early applications are preferred.


The following research articles provide a background into the research:

1. Humphries, T.D., et al (2019) ‘Dolomite: A Low Cost Thermochemical Energy Storage Material’, Journal of Materials Chemistry A.
2. Dong, D., et al (2017) ‘Thermal optimisation of metal hydride reactors for thermal energy storage applications’, Sustainable Energy & Fuels, 1, 1820-1829.
3. Sheppard, D.A., et al (2016) ‘Metal Hydrides for Concentrating Solar Thermal Power Energy Storage’, Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing, 122, 395.
4. Paskevicius, M., et al (2015) ‘Metal Hydride Thermal Heat Storage Prototype for Concentrating Solar Thermal Power’, Energy, 88, 469-477.
5. Fellet, M. (2013) ‘Research on metal hydrides revived for next-generation solutions to renewable energy storage’ Buckley, C.E., Paskevicius, M., Sheppard, D.A. (Ed.), MRS Bulletin: Energy Quarterly, 38, 1012-1013.

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