The group of Materials Chemistry and Catalysis is part of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science. Materials Chemistry and Catalysis (MCC) comprises the staff members prof. Petra de Jongh, prof. Frank de Groot, dr. Peter Ngene, dr. Jessi van der Hoeven, dr. Nong Artrith, and prof. dr. ir. Krijn de Jong (em). Next to that our fundament is a team of wonderful technicians, a very professional secretariat and a great team of PhD candidates, postdocs, and MSc and BSc students.
Our group focuses on the synthesis, characterisation and performance of supported catalysts. These allow efficient chemical conversions (and hence decrease the use of energy and raw materials), but are also essential to allow the transformation from fossil to renewable fuels. With fundamental research we unravel structure-performance relationships, but we also investigate large scale existing industrial processes (methanol synthesis, Fischer Tropsch synthesis, hydroisomerisation, ammonia synthesis, epoxidation and other selective hydrogenation and oxidation reactions in both gas and liquid phase).
We are also very active in the field of energy materials: for instance to produce electrocatalytically fuels from CO2 and H2, reversible hydrogen storage, and next generation battery materials. We lead the materials research line in RELEASE, the national consortium to enable large scale reversible energy storage. Another stronghold is the characterisation of these complex materials with advanced (in-situ and operando) spectroscopic and microscopic techniques, most notably advanced X-Ray absorption spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
An overview of our research can be found on our research page.
Fei Chang, Peter Ngene and Petra de Jongh, together with other researchers from Utrecht and Eindhoven managed to design and make an ammonia synthesis catalysts catalyst that operates under moderate conditions and only contains carbon and potassium, yet rivals that based on scarse metals. The results were published in Nature Catalysis. Read more in Dutch or English. (March 2022)
The FAIR-battery project, in which Peter Ngene participates, has been funded with a grant from the Centre for Unusual Collaborations (CUCo). The aim of the project is to develop ‘an open-source electrochemical battery. Read more about the project and the grant here. (February 2022)
Our annual ice skating event was a great success this year! After a few years’ interruption, many within MCC set foot on ice once again to revive the tradition. (February 2022)
This January, Nong Artrith was awarded funding for the !AIQU project through the Bayer Life Science Collaboration.
Jessi van der Hoeven was awarded the KNCV Van Arkel prize at the Soft Matter session of the NWO CHAINS conference for her thesis “Gold based Nanorods, Tuning the Structure for Catalysis and Sensing”. The van Arkel Prize is awarded for the best thesis in the field of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry of the past two years (December 2021).
We are proud of our MCC group members shining at the NWO CHAINS2021 conference! Featuring Nong and Peter as chairs of the parallel sessions, Nienke and Valerio giving excellent talks, and our poster presenters Luc, Oscar, Just, Laura, Maaike, Hidde and Daan discussing their work in the virtual Gather Town world! (December 2021)
Meer lezen over de toekomst van duurzame energie? Hier vind je een aantal interessante longread van de Universiteit Utrecht, met onder andere bijdragen van MCC en andere groepen uit het Debye Instituut.
Debye physicists and chemists control catalyst structure at the atomic scale – Novel core-shell catalyst design published in Nature Materials. The work of MCC group members Jessi, Liselotte, Giorgio and Petra, together with the team of Alfons van Blaaderen and others appeared today in Nature Materials. More details: Bericht in het Nederlands – Press Release in English – full paper – free version.
Op woensdag 28 april was Petra de Jongh te zien op NPO2 in het wetenschapsprogramma Atlas, om uitleg te geven over de rol van duurzaam waterstof in de energietransitie (in het Nederlands, item start op 13:38). Waterstof kan daarin een spilfunctie vervullen, omdat het fossiele brandstoffen en grondstoffen kan vervangen in de industrie, zwaar transport, en bij grootschalig opslaan van hernieuwbare elektriciteit, maar de eerste grote uitdaging blijft voorlopig om voldoende groene elektriciteit op te wekken