For upcoming PhD defences , see the group defences page.


On January 12th 2023, a consortium of companies, multinationals and knowledge institutes attended the kick off meeting for BatteryNL. The MCC group (Peter Ngene and Petra de Jongh) is one of the five founding groups of this consortium, which will work in the coming 8 years on developing next generation batteries based on a better understanding of electrode and electrolyte nanomaterials and interfaces. Press release: Dutch | English

The winners of the Nederlandse Gasindustrieprijzen 2022.

For her MSc thesis, written based on her work in the MCC group with Nienke Visser, Juliette Verschoor was awarded the second prize of the Nederlandse Gasindustrieprijzen 2022. The jury was impressed by the wide variety of experiments she employed in her work to improve the life span of carbon-supported nickel catalysts for the conversion of carbon dioxide and hydrogen to methane (‘synthetic natural gas’). She was also commended for the clarity with which she was able to relate these experiments to her research questions. We congratulate Juliette for winning this prestigious prize! (November 2022)

At the Solid State Ionics conference (SSI-23) in Boston, USA, four MCC members had the opportunity to present their work. Valerio, Laura de Kort, Peter and Henrik shared their work on solid-state electrolytes and batteries. They also got to see the city, including MIT and Harvard, to both of which they were invited for a short visit. (July 2022)

Nanoscientists from Utrecht University have devised a new and promising way to make catalysts in which the amount of precious metals needed is reduced by a factor of 10. Those precious metals are scarce, but essential in many existing and future, more sustainable chemical processes. The publication appeared on 8 July 2022 in the renowned scientific journal Science. Article | Press release

Ad meer dan 40 jaar bij de UU! We vierden onlangs met een gezellige lunch dat Ad van der Eerden al meer dan 40 jaar geleden bij de Universiteit Utrecht in dienst is gekomen. Een bijzondere gelegenheid, en speciaal voor hem waren zelfs twee gasten uit het buitenland gekomen… (juni 2022)

AMBHER – Peter Ngene and Petra de Jongh have been awarded a EU HORIZON RESILIENCE grant to develop a more effective ammonia synthesis catalysts, in a collaborative effort of european academic and industrial partners to investigate the potential of green ammonia for seasonal renewable energy storage (June 2022).

During our annual lab outing, we solved a centuries-old murder mistery in the historic centre of Utrecht as part of an escape tour! Two hours after taking this group picture at the Academy building, we were all able to escape the city (June 2022).

In a recent article in ACS Catalysis by Remco Dalebout, Petra de Jongh and many other researchers from our group, as well as collaborators from Sorbonne, Utrecht and Paris, new insights into copper-based, zinc-promoted methanol synthesis catalysts are revealed. Using time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy, it is found that on carbon-supported catalysts a major part of the zinc promoter was reduced and mixed with copper to form a CuZn alloy under high-pressure methanol synthesis conditions. (May 2022)

The SMART-X Chapter has highlighted Heba, Nong, Jessi, and Petra’s advice to young researchers on International Women’s Day.

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 scarce 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 technology that can be deployed and maintained in the field, for residential users, small scale commercial use, and rural health posts’. 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.

The goal of the new !AIQU collaboration is to bridge Artificial Intelligence (AI) and QUantum mechanics to develop improved computational approaches.  Combining the predictive power of QM calculations with the efficiency of AI / machine learning techniques has the potential to establish rapid and accurate predictions for industrially relevant properties at large scale. This collaboration involves several partners from industry and academia. Read more about the project here. (26 January 2022)

This January, Nienke Visser, PhD candidate supervised by Petra de Jongh and Jessi van der Hoeven won the poster prize with her poster ‘Particle Size Effects of Carbon Supported Nickel Nanoparticles for High Pressure CO2 Hydrogenation to Methane’ at the 758. WE-Heraeus-Seminar. The focus of the seminar was ‘From Wind and Solar Energy to Chemical Energy to Chemical Energy Storage: Understanding and Engineering Catalysis under Dynamic Conditions’.
(January 2022)

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