Electrocatalytic synthesis of ammonia using photoelectrolytic hydrogen and atmospheric nitrogen

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Energy storage is an increasingly important part of a sustainable energy future. Electrolysis of water using renewable energy is a great energy store but has low energy density. Conversion of hydrogen to other chemical fuels is desirable and combination with atmospheric nitrogen to produce ammonia has the great advantage of abundant resources. The present Haber-Bosch ammonia synthesis is cost/energy intensive. This project will develop a single step electrocatalytic ammonia synthesis method using ionic liquids. Significant efficiency increases and cost reductions for ammonia synthesis are expected from this ambitious, new and valuable technology.

The ideal candidate will have a background in chemistry, maybe in chemical synthesis, but also an ability to address the engineering challenges of developing new chemical technologies. Academically very strong, with good first and possibly Masters degree and probably several publications, they will also have some experience working in chemical or semiconductor environments and importantly of working in close knit teams of scientists. They will be goal oriented but also able to see the bigger picture of working on strategies aiming to enable sustainability technologies. 

Supervisory team
Gavin
Conibeer

Engineering
Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
Chuan
Zhao

Science
Chemistry
Santosh
Shrestha

Engineering
Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
g.conibeer@unsw.edu.au