Francesco Mattarozzi

Francesco Mattarozzi

PhD Candidate

Employed since: December 2018

Supervisors: Petra de Jongh and Peter Ngene
Room: 4th floor open area

Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are the major cause of climate change. To mitigate the effect of climate change, the share of renewable energy increased over the past decades. The electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 is an interesting prospect to convert a greenhouse gas to valuable chemicals by using renewable electricity as the energy input. In this pioneering work, Hori showed that silver-based electrocatalysts were highly selective towards CO, which can be utilized with H2 (syngas) to produce hydrocarbons [1] [2]. Therefore, many research groups focused their attention on the development of nanostructured silver catalysts supported on conductive substrates [3][4].

The goal of my PhD project is to study the electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 into value-added chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, by synthesizing, characterizing and testing carbon supported silver nanostructures (figure 1). In particular, the aim is to fundamentally understand the effect of different silver morphologies, such as nanoparticles and nanowires, and carbon surface functional groups on the activity and selectivity towards CO2 electroreduction products. In a broader prospective, the fundamental insight gained in this work will facilitate rational electrode design for CO2 electrochemical reduction and syngas applications.

Working electrode configuration with carbon electrode covered with silver nanowires (left). SEM image of silver nanowires (center). CO2 electrochemical reduction to CO (H2O by-product is not shown) (right).

[1] Y. Hori et al., J. Phys. Chem. B., 101, 7075–7081 (1997).

[2] P. de Luna et al., Science, 364, 350-359 (2019).

[3] M. Ma et al., Angew. Chemie, 55, 9748-9752 (2016).

[4] N. J. Firet et al., Catal. Sci. Technol., 10, 5870-5885 (2020).

Link to Eye-openers presentation


Dec 2018 – present  PhD candidate at the Materials Chemistry and Catalysis group, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University Under supervision of Prof. Dr P. E. (Petra) de Jongh and Dr. Peter Ngene.
Project title: Electrochemical CO2 conversion: elucidating the role of supported Ag nanoparticles, support and electrolyte.
  2016 – 2018    Master’s Degree in Industrial Chemistry, Università  degli Studi di Milano, Milan (Italy), Under supervision of Prof. Laura Prati
Project title: Pd-based catalysts for selective hydrogenation reactions
  2018    Five months internship at the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. P. E. (Petra) de Jongh Giorgio Totarella.
  2013 – 2016  Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, Università degli Studi di MIlano, Milan (Italy), under supervision of Prof. Claudia Letizia Maddalena Bianchi
  2008 – 2013  Scientific high-school diploma, Liceo Scientifico Galileo Galilei, Erba (COMO)
%d bloggers liken dit: