Tom Welling

Tom Welling

PhD candidate

Employed since: 1 July 2021
Supervisors: Petra de Jongh & Krijn de Jong

Phone: +31 30 2531600
Room: David de Wied Building, office 4.62

We study the decomposition of methane into hydrogen while growing carbon materials using Ni-based catalysts. Methane is a readily-available, cheap feedstock, but due to CO2 emissions it is not ideal for use as fuel. Decomposition of methane into the clean fuel hydrogen while creating solid carbon is a promising alternative. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) will be the main technique to study this process as it allows us to look at nanomaterials at nanometer spatial resolution. In previous work an environmental TEM was employed to study nanofiber growth at millibar pressures [1]. Using gas-cell in-situ TEM we intend to study the nucleation and growth phase of carbon filaments from methane in more relevant conditions, by varying parameters such as temperature, feed composition, pressure, but also catalyst size, composition and shape. Unique information from in-situ TEM experiments about carbon filaments growth and entanglement will be linked to process conditions and catalyst structure. The in-situ TEM experiments will be critically compared to results in more conventional experiments.

Students are welcome to contact us if they are interested in joining this project.

  1. Helveg et al., Atomic-scale Imaging of Carbon Nanofibre Growth, Nature 427(6973), 2004: 426-429.

Publications See Google Scholar



Bachelor Physics at Utrecht University: “Manipulating the refractive index with responsive colloids.” Supervisors: Patrick Baesjou, Alfons van Blaaderen.

2015 – 2017

Master Nanomaterials Science at Utrecht University: “Optical properties and alloying of metal nanorods.” Supervisors: Wiebke Albrecht, Alfons van Blaaderen.

2017 – 2021

PhD at Soft Condensed Matter (UU). Supervisors: Marijn van Huis, Alfons van Blaaderen.

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