Won prize for best PhD project

Huong Huynh finished her PhD project at University of Stavanger October 2021. Now her PhD thesis has been selected as Best Norwegian PhD in Catalysis.

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Huong Huynh. Photo: Private

Even though it has been one and a half year since Huynh finished her research project at University of Stavanger, it still has an impact. Just before Easter, Huynh got an e-mail from a Professor at NTNU.

"It is my pleasure to inform that your PhD thesis has been selected as Best Norwegian PhD in Catalysis for the period April 2021-March 2023, by the Catalysis section of the Norwegian Chemical Society. Congratulations!," was the message in the e-mail from Professor Hilde Venvik at NTNU.

"I feel extremely grateful," Huynh says.

She is going to Trondheim in June to receive the award and present her work at a catalysis seminar. She has also been entered into European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS) competition for best PhD in Europe.

About the project

The transition towards renewable energy resources has increased the need for large-scale and long-term energy storage systems.

"My PhD project was to study the Power-to-Gas technology, which is converting renewable H2 and captured CO2 to methane (synthetic natural gas) via a catalytic chemical reaction called CO2 Methanation. The project focused on the development of catalysts and reactors in order to improve the process efficiency," Huynh explains.

Her project had a wide approach including material (catalyst) synthesis, characterization, reaction testing, reactor scale-up design, kinetics and computational modelling studies. All the lab work was building up the comprehensive thesis with several peer-reviewed journal articles and a book chapter.

Relevant background

After finishing her PhD, Huong Huynh got a job as Process Engineer for CO2 and H2 system at Aker Solutions.

"My current projects are related to Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). For example, currently I’m working on the Northern Lights project. CO2 will be offloaded from ship, temporarily stored onshore and then exported via subsea pipeline to subsea injection template for permanent storage. This is a part of the solution to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gases emissions. My background in CO2 utilization processes at UiS are important for me in my current job, and also for my future career development," Huynh says.

She is grateful for her time at UiS.

"I would like to thank the faculty and the department for my opportunities with this PhD project. I would also like to thank my supervisor for his throughout guidance, and my colleagues and lab engineers for the tremendous support," Huynh says.

Professor Zhixin Yu was Huynh's main supervisor.

"I have had a wonderful 3 year PhD work and I could not have accomplished this without the support from everyone at the Department of Energy and Petroleum Technology," Huong Huynh says.