Luc Smulders

Luc Smulders

PhD candidate

Supervisors: Krijn de Jong & Petra de Jongh

Employed since: June 2019
Room: 4th floor open office

Research: Metal (Oxide) – Acid Catalysts for Hydrocarbon Conversion

Bifunctional catalysts play a significant role in modern petroleum refining [1]. In these catalysts a metal (oxide) function and a solid acid site are combined for the conversion of carbonaceous feedstocks into clean diesel and jet fuel. Ideally, renewable feedstocks, such as Fischer-Tropsch wax [2] or algae based hydrocarbons [3], are used to produce these fuels.

Previously, it has been shown for Pt/alumina/zeolite-Y catalysts that the distance between the active sites plays a key role in catalyst selectivity [4]. In this project we aim to extend the understanding of selective conversion of n-alkanes by these bifunctional catalysts using alternative solid acid functions and (non-noble) metal (oxide) particles. The focus of our research will be on the conversion of heavier n-alkane feedstocks. This project is conducted in close collaboration with BP.

[1] J. Weitkamp, ChemCatChem 4 (2012), 292-306

[2] C. Bouchy et al., Oil Gas Sci. Technol. 64 (2009), 91-112

[3] N.H. Tran et al., Fuel 89 (2010), 265-274

[4] J. Zečević et al., Nature 528 (2015), 245-248



PhD Candidate in the Materials Chemistry and Catalysis group, Utrecht University. Project under supervision of prof. dr. ir. Krijn de Jong and prof. dr. Petra de Jongh


Research Intern in the Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Project on the improvement of Rhodium-Bistropamine Complexes for their application in Organometallic Fuel Cells, under supervision of prof. dr. Hansjörg Grützmacher and Esther Tschanen-Hammann, MSc.


Master Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University

Thesis in the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group under supervision of prof. dr. Pieter Bruijnincx and Carolien Vis, MSc about Tandem Catalytic Conversion in Pickering Emulsions.


Bachelor Chemistry, Utrecht University

Thesis in the Condensed Matter and Interfaces group under supervision of prof. dr. Andries Meijerink and Elleke van Harten, MSc about “Measuring Leaching of Cadmium(II) Ions from CdSe based Quantum Dots.”


Secondary school education, Dr.-Knippenbergcollege, Helmond, The Netherlands


Born in Eindhoven, The Netherlands

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