Compounds with at least one C-N bond, called organonitrogen compounds, represent a significant part of industrially produced chemicals, ranging from fertilizers to pharmaceuticals. Their current production methods are not environmentally friendly, so their replacement is sought. Thus, alternative electrochemical processes using waste chemicals as substrates appear as an up-and-coming solution. However, the knowledge of C-N coupling from CO2 and NO3-/NO2- is meager and lacks systematic and fundamental studies. This project will explore the reaction mechanism in different electrocatalyst materials by using in situ and operando spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, OLEMS, Raman and XPS).Inorganic Materials and Catalysis
We are a vibrant research group focusing on the fundamental and applied aspects of catalyzed reactions relevant to a clean and sustainable future. Our primary interest lies in the interface of heterogeneous catalysis and materials design, with a strong emphasis on elucidating the mechanism of (electro)catalytic reactions. The electrochemistry team research is devoted to electrocatalysis and electro(catalytic)synthesis for sustainable processes and the production of high-value chemicals like fuels and organic molecules from 'waste' substrates, for example, carbon dioxide and biomass. The main aim is to understand, develop, and optimize electrochemical reactions under practical, relevant conditions to take a step further in the usage of electrochemistry at the industrial scale.
The Inorganic Materials and Catalysis team consists of 6 scientific staff members (2 full professors, 3 assistant professors, and one research fellow), 4 supporting staff members, ~25 PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows as well as master and bachelor students. We see ourselves as passionate scientists, working together in teams to produce meaningful insights for improving society. Our group has a very international character, and we regularly host guests from all over the world. We value diversity and welcome and support all identities in our research group.Job Description
In this project, you will study the reaction mechanism of the C-N bond coupling between CO2 and nitrates. The key challenge is understanding what conditions will lead to the selective synthesis of organonitrogens and how to avoid undesired reactions of the substrate and other competing processes. You will use in situ and operando spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, OLEMS, Raman, and XPS) to unravel the intermediates and reaction pathways for the reaction. The findings from this project will contribute to developing new and more active catalysts that can operate at industrially relevant conditions, bringing the synthesis of green fertilizers closer to reality.
This project is part of the Future Chemistry Program, coordinated by the Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems (EIRES). More information in https://www.tue.nl/en/research/institutes/eindhoven-institute-for-renewable-energy-systems