Humboldt Foundation awards Khushubo Devi

Devi joined the MPIE to unravel the process of iron ore reduction with hydrogen

February 09, 2022

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded Dr. Khushubo Devi from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur with a scholarship of the Henriette Herz programme. The programme comprises mobility grants for excellent foreign researchers enabling a research stay of two years in a German research institution. Devi is the first Henriette Hertz awardee who joined the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE).   

“We are so happy and proud to have Khushubo with us. She is an excellent material scientist and will analyse the direct reduction of iron ore with hydrogen through advanced transmission electron microscopy.”, says Dr. Isnaldi Souza, who leads the group “Sustainable Synthesis of Materials” together with his colleague Dr. Yan Ma.  Researchers worldwide are searching for ways to cut carbon dioxide emissions in industry. As the steel industry alone is responsible for ca. 8% of all carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, it is crucial of finding advanced ways for the production of green steel. “We already know that hydrogen can be used to reduce iron ore. However, we are still not really able to upscale this approach for industrial use as some fundamental questions remain: how does iron ore transform into iron using hydrogen? What happens on the atomic scale? I want to tackle this question and analyse the iron ore reduction in an environmental chamber of the transmission electron microscope.”, explains Devi. The so-called environmental chamber is a hydrogen-rich analysis chamber inside the microscope, which enables Devi to watch the reduction while happening.

The Henriette Herz programme was recently established by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. It enables selected professors and group leaders to recruit three postdoctoral scientists of their choice to join their research institution for two years, fully funded by the programme. Prof. Dierk Raabe, director at the MPIE, and Dr. Baptiste Gault, research group leader at the MPIE, were selected as so-called Humboldt scouts and are able to recruit three foreign researchers. Devi is the first researcher who was selected by Raabe and joined the MPIE.

Author: Yasmin Ahmed Salem

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