PhD Position in CO2 Storage in Clay as a Negative Emission Technology

University of Twente

Job description

PhD project: Transport and storage of clay suspensions

Aim is to find the conditions under which the CO2-loaded clay material can be stored most efficiently in the pore space of geological rock. To facilitate their transport, the clay particles will be suspended in aqueous liquid. A key challenge will be to achieve a high packing density in the end, while avoiding flow obstructions in the pathway. This optimization requires a (sodar lacking) understanding of the rheology of the clay suspension(s) in microchannel geometries. Particle interactions, concentration, flow rate and pore geometry are all expected to play a role. Their influences will be examined via bulk rheology, and microscopic visualization of the flow and clogging behavior inside microchannels. The state in which the clay gets stored will also be examined for time dependent properties. In a parallel research activity, the loading of clay particles with CO2 is studied and optimized. This activity will be closely linked to the work of the PhD student.

Your profile

For this position (duration: 4 years) we are looking for a skilled experimentalist (physics, chemistry, engineering) with affinity for physical chemistry, rheology and microfluidics. You are highly motivated, and driven to develop into an excellent young researcher in a competitive field. Collaborations with colleagues from the (host) PCF, ST and STP groups, the MESA+ institute and outside form an integral part of the work.

Our offer

  • We offer you a four-year full-time position
  • We provide excellent mentorship in a modern and a vivid research environment, with state-of-the art research facilities.
  • You benefit from a professional and personal development program.
  • Gross salary ranging from € 2395 to € 3061 (4th yr) per month
  • Holiday allowance (8%), end-of-year bonus (8.3%)
  • Good secondary conditions
  • A green Campus with lots of sports facilities.

Information and application

For more information please refer to the group website: or address Dr. Michel Duits ( Applications should include a specific motivation letter and a detailed CV. The project aims to start in the first half of 2021.

About the department

In the Physics of Complex Fluids group at the University of Twente (Enschede, The Netherlands), research is aimed at understanding various behaviors of multi-component fluids near interfaces. In the cCOOL project we develop the permanent storage of CO2 inside clay materials underground as a negative emission technology. In this collaborative project (involving 4 temporary researchers), the CO2 loading and storage is addressed at the level of the individual clay particles as well as the collective mechanical and chemical behavior at rest and in flow.

About the organization

TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the TNW Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.