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).
Electron microscopy is an important characterisation method in MCC. Visualizing the structure of catalytic materials with atomic precision, under operating conditions and in 3D using advanced electron microscopy techniques is one of the main focus areas of the Materials Chemistry and Catalysis group, and an essential step in understanding how catalysts work. This effort is led by Jessi van der Hoeven and Petra de Jongh. Our capabilities span many techniques.
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. Next to this the groups avails of an impressive experimental infrastructure for the synthesis, characterisation and testing of catalysts and energy materials.