VENI Research Awards for Ina Vollmer and Matteo Monai


Ina Vollmer and Matteo Monai both received NWO’s prestigious 2020 Veni grant. Ina’s research will focus on putting polymers under strain for more recycling gain while Matteo will work on designing robust nickel catalysts for cleaner hydrogen production. We congratulate Ina and Matteo on their wonderful achievements!

Putting polymer under strain for more recycling gain

“In preparation for this project I have collected over a hundred plastic yoghurt containers to use in my experiments. They serve as a constant reminder to the growing mountain of waste.”

Ina Vollmer

Plastic waste is an important ecological problem, requiring new solutions; traditional recycling methods lead to loss of value. In this research project, Ina Vollmer will lay the groundwork for a new recycling method that will avoid loss of value. She will do this using fundamental insight on the controlled breakdown of plastic under strain. “In preparation for this project I have collected over a hundred plastic yoghurt containers to use in my experiments,” Vollmer says. “They serve as a constant reminder to the growing mountain of waste, and with this grant I will truly be able to do something about it.”

Robust nickel catalysts for cleaner hydrogen production

“I believe that producing cheap and sustainable hydrogen is crucial for our future, which is what my project is all about. I am looking forward to starting this amazing adventure!”

Matteo Monai

“It is a huge honour to receive this Veni grant,” researcher Matteo Monai says. “It is so very exciting to be able to realise my research idea!” In his research project, Monai aims to develop new, better catalysts to transform low-value molecules, such as CO2 and CH4, into H2 and CO by reforming reactions in a circular economy scheme. To put it simply, Monai researches ways to develop cheap and sustainable hydrogen. “I believe that producing cheap and sustainable hydrogen is crucial for our future, which is what my project is all about. I am looking forward to starting this amazing adventure!”

Source: website Utrecht University