MSC graduation project – Boosting CO2 dissociation efficiency in a microwave discharge by adiabatic expansion

Please note: unless otherwise specified, the internships are only available for students with a nationality of an EU-member state and/or students from a Dutch university.

DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) is one of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) institutes and focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to energy research, combining physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science. The institute is based on two main strands, solar fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and fusion-energy as clean and unlimited source of energy. DIFFER is developing and supporting a national network on fundamental energy research and is closely collaborating with academic institutions, research institutes and industry. As of 2015 the institute is located in a new building at the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

MSC graduation project – Boosting CO2 dissociation efficiency in a microwave discharge by adiabatic expansion

The Solar Fuels division at DIFFER researches methods to produce synthetic fuels efficiently using renewable sources of electricity. Chemical conversion using electricity is considered as a viable method for storage and transport of renewably generated energy and a pathway towards integrating sustainable electricity into the chemical industry.

PSFD plasma

In the PSFD group, the central topic in Solar Fuels research is the dissociation of the CO2 molecule using plasma processing. The most efficient dissociation pathway for CO2 is achieved via vibrational excitation of the molecules in non-equilibrium conditions: a high vibrational temperature combined with a low gas temperature.


Scientific aim: 

The aim of this graduation project is to inject super-cooled CO2 into the plasma reactor. In this way, the non-equilibrium between gas temperature and vibrational temperature will be enhanced, thus leading to a more efficient conversion process. The project involves studying the adiabatic expansion of liquid CO2 in dedicated experiments, as well as the full implementation of super cooled CO2 injection in a microwave-driven plasma reactor.


Are you excited to work in an international environment? Our institute offers a first class and international research environment with various interdisciplinary but related research topics and projects.

We are looking for a master student with a background in applied physics. Experience in the field of flow dynamics is preferred but not mandatory. The project is experimentally oriented, involving design and operation of lab-scale experimental flow reactors, design and implementation of modifications to the plasma reactor, and measurement of the plasma performance. According to personal preference there is also the possibility to incorporate theoretical work or numerical simulations.

Further information: 

The appointment is for 6 to 12 months. The starting date can be determined in consultation. Are you interested, or do you have further questions? Feel free to contact us! Email: a [368] j [368] wolf [28] differ [368] nl