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PhD position: Transport and storage of CO2-loaded clay suspensions


Job description

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. In this context, we have a vacant:

PhD position: Transport and storage of CO2-loaded 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 (sofar 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 achieved dense state in which the clay gets stored will also be examined for the time dependence of its rheological properties and its CO2-content.

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.


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 fall of 2020.

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.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.

PhD position: Transport and storage of CO2-loaded clay suspensions
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