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Postdoctoral Fellow (Membranes for Electrochemical CO2 Capture)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California
Date Posted 09/10/2021
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled

Berkeley Lab’s Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Division (ESDR) is looking for a Postdoctoral Fellow to participate in the development of a robust, energy efficient, and cost effective electrochemical regeneration scheme for aqueous alkaline sorbents specifically for direct air capture of carbon dioxide (DAC). Carbon dioxide sorbents based on aqueous alkaline solutions (e.g., sodium hydroxide dissolved in water) provides a simple, scalable route towards DAC. Compared to more conventional flue gas CO2 capture methods, such as amine scrubbing, alkaline solutions have substantial advantages in two important metrics for DAC: cost of sorbent and oxidative stability. 


We are pursuing an electrochemical regeneration method of alkaline sorbents to ensure complete electrification process, allowing the use of renewable sources (wind, solar, hydrothermal) as the sole energy input. As part of the project, we plan to develop cost-effective cation exchange membranes with high cation transport and selectivity over anion transport.  We welcome candidates with specific experience in ion exchange membranes or water purification/reverse osmosis membranes.  An ideal candidate will have PhD experience in thin film composite membrane synthesis and ion transport characterization. Also desirable is experience in cell design to characterize transport through membranes in electrochemical systems.


What You Will Do:

  • Synthesize thin film composite polymer membranes.
  • Characterize ion transport through membranes in contact with complex aqueous solutions containing multiple ions.
  • Characterize polymer-ion interactions using synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy.
  • Write quarterly reports and provide quarterly updates to LBNL leadership.
  • Disseminate research through publication of journal articles, present research work at relevant conferences (e.g., ACS, ECS, AIChE, etc).


What is Required:

  • A recent Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science, or related fields.
  • Experience in membrane technology, electrochemistry, or electrochemical engineering.
  • Experience in molecular transport characterization through polymers.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.


What We Prefer:

  • Experience in membrane characterization cell design.
  • Experience in electrochemical systems continuum scale modeling.
  • Experience with synchrotron x-ray spectroscopy.


For full consideration, please apply by September 30, 2021 with the following application materials:

  • Cover Letter - Describe your interest in this position and the relevance of your background.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume.



  • This is a full time, exempt from overtime pay (monthly paid), 2 year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs.  You must have less than 3 years of paid postdoctoral experience. 
  • Salaries for postdoctoral positions depend on years of experience post-degree and are predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be performed onsite at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.


Learn About Us:

Berkeley Lab (LBNL) addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.


The Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division (ESDR ) works on developing advanced batteries and fuel cells for transportation and stationary energy storage, grid-connected technologies for a cleaner, more reliable, resilient, and cost-effective future, and demand-responsive and distributed energy technologies for a dynamic electric grid.


Berkeley Lab’s Postdoc Program is committed to providing Postdoctoral Researchers and Visiting scholars with a positive and impactful experience to jump-start their career through premium research and career development, networking opportunities, mentoring programs, and a strong community.  For more information, please visit our Berkeley Lab Postdoc Resources site and our Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association site.


Berkeley Lab is committed to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) and strives to continue building community with these shared values and commitments.


Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We heartily welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans, and all who would contribute to the Lab’s mission of leading scientific discovery, inclusion, and professionalism. In support of our diverse global community, all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. 


Equal Opportunity and IDEA Information Links:

Know your rights, click here for the supplement: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law" and the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4. 

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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