PostDoc position: New adsorbers and processes for CO2 capture

Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.
The group Reactors and Processes for Power-to-X and the Advanced Colloidal Materials Engineering group search for a Postdoctoral researcher in the field of materials and process development for direct air capture of CO2. The work will be in collaboration with the laboratory of Advanced Materials Processing, responsible for manufacturing of novel micro-structured and mass-producible contactor materials.

The position is within the project ESCoDAC - Efficient Structured Contactors for Direct Air Capture. ESCoDAC intends to develop concepts for a novel mass-producible structured sorption contactor for Direct Air Capture (DAC) with an operation and regeneration process tailored to the sorbent. We aim at increasing the efficiency and yield of the DAC process by engineering the materials and processes in a multiscale approach (local flow and diffusion conditions during ad- and desorption, advanced desorption strategies and process scheduling).

Your tasks

The project aims at joint development of materials, structures, and processes to ensure optimal operation conditions, considering material lifetime and product output.

  • Develop a multi-scale design approach for structured DAC materials including sorption models for multi-component adsorption, engineering of flow, heat and mass transfer in micro-structured contactors (modeling in COMSOL or OpenFOAM), and simulation-based process integration of the new contactor (e.g., AspenPlus, Matlab, Python)
  • Design experiments for testing of structured sorbents under realistic conditions considering co-adsorption of water
  • Investigate production trials and develop optimization strategies in collaboration with the experts from materials development and manufacturing

Your profile

  • PhD in chemical engineering, materials sciences, mechanical engineering, or similar field
  • Experience in modelling of adsorption, heat and mass transfer processes
  • Hands-on experience in laboratory testing
  • Highly motivated team player, curious to learn new things
  • Excellent English communication and writing skills

Our offer

The work will be carried out at Empa Dübendorf in an interdisciplinary environment covering materials development and process engineering. The planned project duration is two years starting in summer 2024.
We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities - that's what counts.
We look forward to receiving your complete online application including a letter of motivation, CV, certificates, diplomas and contact details of two reference persons. Please submit these exclusively via our job portal. Applications by e-mail and by post will not be considered.
David Heusser, HR Partner


  Dr. Florian Kiefer
Group Leader
Chemical Energy Carriers and Vehicle Systems Laboratory
+41 58 765 4172

Your future place of work

Ueberlandstrasse 129
8600 Dübendorf

Empa as an employer

Innovative, sustainable, meaningful activities
Creating added value for society
International, multicultural working environment
Freedom to create and develop
Culture of inclusion and respect
Excellent balance between different areas of life
Multiple award-winning and certified employer
Benefits for rail, mobile, childcare, catering, etc.