Our PhD's

Ongoing PhD's:

Selective recovery of precious metals from e-waste

Because of the growing amount of disposed e-waste worldwide, there is an emerging need for clean small-scale technologies for recycling of this waste. The economic driving force for e-waste recycling is the recovery of precious metals like gold and silver.

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.

Development of Cu/M-C electrocatalysts for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 to hydrocarbons and alcohols

The development of energy-efficient catalysts for the electrochemical CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR) to CO and ethylene has reached several critical milestones recently, making industrial implementation of the technique more relevant than ever before. Within this scope, we investigate an important class of non-noble metals as potential industrial electrocatalysts for the selective conversion of CO2 to ethylene and alcohols, namely carbon-supported copper-based electrodes (Cu/M-C).

BECO2Me “Bringing the Electrocatalytic Conversion of CO2 to formic acid towards an industrial feasibility by unraveling the fundamental role of the supporting Material”

Return BECO2Me “Bringing the Electrocatalytic Conversion of CO2 to formic acid towards an industrial feasibility by unraveling the fundamental role of the supporting Material” September 2018 – September 2022 Researcher: Kevin Van Daele Lowering the atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions are two of the greatest scientific challenges faced by our current generation. Nowadays, a lot of pressure…

Feasibility Study Towards An industrial CO2 Electrolyzer Design (STACkED)

Return Feasibility Study Towards An industrial CO2 Electrolyzer Design (STACkED) 01/01/2018 – 31/12/2021 Researcher: Bert De Mot By 2050 80% of Europe’s electricity should be produced through renewables. The vast majority of this (up to 65%) would be provided by solar photovoltaics and on- or offshore wind farms, with a production that is clearly subject to seasonal  and hourly weather…

Defended Phd's:

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

Influence of electrodeposited nanoparticles on the electrochemical halide reduction

Fundamental advances in energy conversion and storage which are full of vigor in meeting outfaces of some environmental phenomena such as waste water pollution and impact of fossil fuels are held by electrosynthesis. In the past decade organic electrosynthesis has become an interesting, versatile and environmental friendly alternative compared to classical organic synthesis.