PhD

Development of electrocatalysts and membranes for the cogeneration of electricity and valuable chemicals

A lot of economically valuable chemicals are obtained in industry through oxidation and reduction reactions. While many of these processes are highly exothermic, liberating energy as heat, they generally do not reach high energy efficiencies because most of this liberated energy cannot be recovered efficiently. Fuel cells offer the possibility to produce these chemicals through electrochemical reactions while converting the released energy into electricity, thus offering a clear advantage over the conventional production process.

Solvent extraction in membrane microcontactors: modeling, spacer structuring and applications

Microfluidic technology involves the manipulation of fluids (gas or liquid) in channels with
dimensions lower than 1 mm, typically between 10-100 μm. Over the past 25 years, it has
grown into a mature field. Because of the small channel dimensions, chemical process
operations like mixing, reactions, dosing, and analyses have acquired substantial efficiency
gains. However, one aspect remains underdeveloped: general techniques that enable
downstream processing.

Electrosynthesis as an environmentally friendly production method : A screening methodology towards upscaling

Organic electrosynthesis is a field within electrochemistry that concerns the synthesis of organic products using the electron as a redox agent instead of chemical reductants or oxidants. It offers several important advantages to conventional synthetic methods, such as mild process conditions as reactions can be carried out at ambient temperature and pressure, higher selectivity due to precise control of the reaction by control of the electrode potential, ability to produce unstable or hazardous reagents in situ and less generation of pollutants and waste streams

New routes towards efficient electrocatalyst development

Electrocatalysis is the linchpin of several modern electrochemical applications ranging
from energy storage devices over electroanalytical sensors to organic electrosynthesis.
Over the past decades electrocatalysis has grown to be a full-fledged part of heterogeneous
catalysis, supported by state-of-the-art theoretical insights.

New redox mediators and improved electrocatalytic materials for the functionalization of CH-bonds by electrosynthesis

Carbon-Hydrogen bonds are the most common bonds that occur in organic chemistry, they’re generally very strong, and unreactive. Because of the high dissociation energy associated with C-H bond activation ( the C-H bond dissociation in alkanes is 2.2-2.7 (V vs SHE)), molecules already containing functional groups will have them react at lower potentials, rendering late stage C-H functionalization useless. Chemical C-H activation is difficult to achieve, especially with C(sp3)-H bonds, it is expensive and associated with generation of a lot of waste.