Postdoc Designed Microspheres for Catalysis


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VITO is a a leading European independent research and consultancy centre in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development. Its research programme ‘Sustainable Materials” holds the ambition to accelerate the transition to a more circular economy from a materials perspective. The Coating and Shaping Technologies (CAST) Team focusses on the processing and (colloidal) shaping of inorganic powders into a variety of products. Depending on the architecture, shape and dimensions, the materials and processes find applications in the area of sustainable chemistry and advanced energy technologies.

For packed bed applications such as catalysis and sorption the shape of the material is of great importance. At VITO’s CAST group we are investigating different granulation techniques to obtain monodisperse microspheres with controlled composition and porosity. We would like to further expand onto this research to prepare porous structured catalyst support materials (such as alumina, zirconia, zeolites, MOFs). (More information: see papers below.) The aim is to explore novel process parameters and chemistry to obtain porous microspheres of the desired materials. These prepared materials will be tested in close collaboration with industrial companies and other research institutes in ongoing research projects.

As a post-doctoral fellow you will take an important role in the development of this rapidly evolving research track. Together with our team of experts, you will actively support the execution and follow-up of dedicated projects on microsphere development to be used as catalysts materials.

This includes:

  • Active literature survey, keeping up to date with relevant articles and patents in the fields;
  • Detailing out the work protocol after discussion with the experts involved;
  • Execution of the experiments/tasks in a timely and efficient manner according to the overall project planning;
  • Data interpretation and plan for next possible steps;
  • Preparing presentations for the meetings/reports;
  • Scientific output and/or patent submission as a result of the work would be highly recommended;
  • Ensure compliance with VITO’s Health & Safety Policy, and take a proactive approach to ensure all experimental work is safe.

Note: informative papers


  • You hold a PhD degree in Chemistry or Material Sciences.
  • You have a demonstrated ability and technical expertise in the field material development for catalysis or sorbents. Preferably, you are experienced in shaping and characterization of catalyst (support) materials.
  • You have a creative mind, are eager to turn new process concepts into practice and to demonstrate their technical and economic feasibility.
  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to clearly present complicated technical information to technicians, researchers and management.
  • You are fluent in English.