News overview

All 2019 news

Annual symposium in Eindhoven

On Tuesday 16 April, we enjoyed the second annual ARC CBBC symposium, celebrating the visit of our international Scientific Advisory Board for evaluation of this year’s research proposals. This year, the event was hosted by Eindhoven University of Technology, one of our three hubs, at their campus. In the university’s own theatre, the ARC CBBC

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Nieuw vak om duurzaamheidsproblemen aan te pakken

Leren door te doen, dat is de kern van een nieuw onderwijsproject voor derdejaars bachelorstudenten die concreet aan de slag willen met duurzaamheid. De Universiteit Utrecht introduceert hiermee het onderwijsconcept Design Thinking. Hoe kan je het inzamelen van plastic afval efficiënter maken? Hoe zorg je ervoor dat mensen hun gedrag aanpassen en de auto vaker laten

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Shell-Isolated Nanoparticle-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Heterogeneous Catalysis

PhD defence of Thomas Hartman Heterogeneous catalysts are essential in the chemical industry for preparing useful materials from feedstock chemicals. Research in heterogeneous catalysis is beneficial for two reasons: firstly, improving the applied catalysts will result in more efficient industrial reactions; secondly, implementing novel catalysts could give us new useful chemical reactions and products. However,

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Comenius Teaching Fellow Scholarship for Bert Weckhuysen

Bert Weckhuysen (ICC) received a grant of 50k Euro for innovation in academic education: “The Da Vinci Project: Towards an active learning-by-doing approach to train a new generation of true connectors in the field of sustainability”. This course, which will be launched in the academic year 2019-2020, will complement the current Utrecht University honours program,

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Step-by-step plan for examining chemical reactions

It is suddenly made possible for scientists all around the world to investigate the relationship between the structure and function of molecules during a chemical reaction. In Nature Protocols, chemists of Utrecht University and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK are publishing a detailed protocol for tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy as an analytical technique. In another

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“I’ve always been more inclined towards the sustainable route”

Interview with Michael Jenks , second-phase MCEC PhD at Utrecht University In 2017, MCEC was granted the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND; a grant from the European Research Council which is designed to stimulate excellence in researchers’ training, mobility and career development. The grant, with a value of 1.7 million euros, will be deployed to attract and involve

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Utrecht twice in ‘final’ for European billion-euro grant

The European Commission is once again preparing to start billion-euro ‘flagship’ science initiatives. Of the 33 consortia that submitted a proposal last year, six are still left after a two-step selection process. Utrecht researchers are participating in two of these consortia: Time Machine and Energy-X. The consortia that are still in the running have now

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Methane promising route for storage of renewable energy from sun and wind

Charlotte Vogt, Matteo Monai, Gert Jan Kramer and Bert Weckhuysen recently published in Nature Catalysis on the renaissance of the Sabatier reaction. This work focusses on CO2 reduction towards value chemicals such as methane. This power-to-methane concept tackles two problems: renewable energy storage via an electrochemical intermediary step and CO2 valorization. For further reading click here.

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Reduce, Reuse & Recycle – Bert Weckhuysen at PAC Symposium 2019

The PAC-symposium is an annual chemistry symposium for students organized by students. The symposium is organized by Stichting PAC, which is formed each year by students from four study associations: ACD, CDL, U.S.S. Proton and VCSVU. This years’ 25th programme centers around the theme ‘Back to the Future‘ and is held at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Today, in his lecture, Prof. Bert

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Lecture Bert Weckhuysen at Royal Institution London

Earth to earth, dust to dust, carbon to carbon: Bert Weckhuysen sketches the ingredients for a true circular economy. In his lecture at the Royal Institution in London, he explained how catalysis research can contribute to a cleaner world, and how politics and government need to play an essential part by introducing adequate legislation. Read more

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Utrecht hub celebrates lab opening

Today, the research institute ARC CBBC is opening its first lab in Utrecht. In collaboration with the chemical sector, university researchers will work on fundamentally new principles for the development of current and future energy carriers and materials. “To be able to find really sustainable solutions, we will have to think radically different.” Reach climate

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All 2018 news

Luminescence Thermometry: Fundamentals and Applications

PhD defence Robin Geitenbeek Over the past decades, scientific progress has resulted in the ability to produce, process and manipulate materials on smaller length scales, all the way to the nanometer (10-9 m) regime. To manipulate processes on smaller length scales, it is also important to monitor relevant parameters (e.g. pressure or temperature) on this nanometer

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Support Stability and Strong Metal-Support Effects in Catalysis: From Nanoparticles to Single Atoms

PhD defence Fang Liu Heterogeneous catalysis plays a central role in many chemical processes, such as petroleum refining, renewable energy production, medicine manufacturing, fine chemicals production and automotive exhaust treatment. The main task of heterogeneous catalysis scientists is to develop catalytic materials that exhibit high activity and selectivity towards the formation of desired reaction products and

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Prizes for Anne-Eva Nieuwelink and Guusje Delen

PhD student Anne-Eva Nieuwelink (left) was awarded a poster prize at CHAINS 2018 and PhD student Guusje Delen (right) won an award for best oral presentation at MOF2018.

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Bio-fuel production by cascade ex-situ catalytic lignocellulosic fast pyrolysis and subsequent upgrading by deoxygenation, with focus on catalyst deactivation and regeneration

PhD defence Ana Hernández Giménez The production and upgrading of bio-oil from lignocellulosic biomass has been addressed in this PhD Thesis, a topic of considerable importance given the world’s energy needs and the common aim of seeking for renewable sources. Particularly this case is driven by the legally binding target of 10% renewable energy in the

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Ellen Sterk wins AkzoNobel Graduation Prize for Chemistry and Process Technology 2018

The Royal Netherlands Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) has named Ellen Sterk as the winner of the AkzoNobel Graduation Prize for Chemistry and Process Technology 2018. Ellen Sterk completed her Master’s in Nanomaterials at Utrecht University, and will soon start working as a PhD candidate in the research group led by Prof. Bert Weckhuysen

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Nature Chemistry publication for Gareth Whiting, Nikolaos Nikolopoulos, Ioannis Nikolopoulos, Abhishek Dutta Chowdhury and Bert Weckhuysen

In their research, the chemists from Utrecht studied the sustainable production of methanol, one of the building blocks for products such as plastics. Sustainable methanol can be synthesised from CO2 and hydrogen gas produced using wind- or solar energy or household waste. The catalyst is needed to ensure that the reaction produces as much methanol and

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Poster prize for Thijs Verkaaik

PhD candidate Thijs Verkaaik (ICC) won a poster prize for his work entitled “Photothermal Suzuki Cross-Coupling using Bimetallic Nanorods”, authored by Thijs Verkaaik, Roos Grote, Nicole Meulendijks, Francesc Sastre Calabuig, Pascal Buskens and Bert Weckhuysen. The conference “Nanotechnology Crossing Borders” was held in Geleen, The Netherlands. More details and pictures can be found at this website. Source: website Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis

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Fluorescent ‘breathalyzer’ makes optimisation of catalysts much easier

A breath test instead of a blood test. That’s how much easier it is to use the test for industrial catalysts developed by chemists at Utrecht University. The test uses fluorescent molecules to literally show whether catalyst 1, 2, or 3 works better than the others. This makes it much easier to work on improving

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Bert Weckhuysen engages in dialogue with activists

During the MCEC-KNAW symposium last December, a group of environmental activists protested the presence (and invitation) of Shell. Bert Weckhuysen was interviewed by online magazine Down to earth (‘platform for green journalism’) for their column ‘Onder vuur’ (‘Under attack’), in which people or organisations who have been under attack for their green ambitions or promises (or lack

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50th birthday celebration of Bert Weckhuysen

On October 5th, Bert Weckhuysen celebrated his 50th birthday with an event of diverse programs. His group participated in multiple lectures and activities during the day, starting with the informative presentation of Dr. Alison Stoddart, the chief editor of Nature Reviews Materials, followed by a team building workshop. In the afternoon, the program continued with

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Prize of the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Laser- technik e.V. (WLT) to Robert Geitner

Postdoc Robert Geitner (ICC), working with a Research Fellowship from the German Research Foundation in the Weckhuysen group, received the Prize of the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Laser- technik e.V. (WLT) for his contributions to the application of Raman and coherent anti-Stokes scattering microscopy. The WLT Prize is awarded annually for outstanding accomplishments in the field of

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Interview Bert Weckhuysen in Chemistry World

Bert Weckhuysen was interviewed for Chemistry World under the heading “Lights-Camera-Catalysis”. You can read the interview on this website.

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Poster Prize for Joel Schmidt

Postdoctoral scholar Joel Schmidt won a Catalysis Science & Technology poster prize award at the 8th Tokyo Conference on Advanced Catalytic Science and Technology (TOCAT8). At the conference, he presented a poster titled: “Template-Framework Interactions in Tetraethylammonium-Directed Zeolite Synthesis.” Source: website Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis

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MCEC Call for 38 PhD candidates

MCEC is looking for highly motivated and creative PhD candidates in the fields of Chemistry, Physics and/or Engineering, who aspire to jointly and multidisciplinary address one of the grand challenges of today: sustainable energy conversion. Please visit this page for more information. Source: website MCEC

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Robert B. Anderson Award for Bert Weckhuysen

During the 25th Canadian Catalysis Symposium (May 8-11) in Saskatoon, the Robert B. Anderson Award of the Canadian Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada was conferred on Bert Weckhuysen (ICC) for his contribution to the advancement of operando spectroscopy of heterogeneous catalysts. Bert is pictured here during the banquet with members of the First

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DPI grant for Florian Meirer and Bert Weckhuysen

The Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) in its DPI 2.0 Call for Proposals has granted Bert Weckhuysen, Florian Meirer and Elena Groppo (University of Turin) a joint research program entitled Multi-scale investigation of silica-supported ethylene polymerization catalysts during the early stages of the reaction. The project aims to research polymerization catalysts in the early stages of the genesis of active

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Bert Weckhuysen and Emiel Hensen receive grant for ‘Chemergy’ research

The Alliance Fund between Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology has awarded Bert Weckhuysen and Emiel Hensen 2 M euros for setting up a Virtual Research Institute (VRI) that integrates relevant expertise of both institutes. The VRI has the ambition to become a leading institute in the field of energy technologies relevant to a fossil-free, low-carbon society. The

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First ARC CBBC lab ready to be equipped

The new ARC CBBC lab room at hub location Utrecht is ready to be furnished. We can now start to equip our first labs. They will be finished at the end of the year, ready for use by our new PhD students and postdocs, some of whom have already started their work in ARC CBBC’s

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Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND grant for MCEC

The Gravitation Programme Netherlands Center for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC) has been awarded 1.7 million Euros to cover part of the costs for the participation of 16 ambitious new international students in its PhD training programme. The grant was awarded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND programme. “Our research into sustainable energy conversion addresses one of society’s

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NWO grant for Florian Meirer

Florian Meirer (ICC), together with colleagues Katrien Keune (Rijksmuseum) and Koen Janssens (University of Antwerp), has been awarded funding for a project called “3D understanding of degradation products in paintings”. The research project focuses on studying and visualizing ‘in 3-D‘ the degradation processes that take place in paintings, with the aim of counteracting color degradation. Data

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Bert Weckhuysen receives Certificate for Achievements from the Belgian Ambassador

On February 7, 2018, Belgian Ambassador in the Netherlands, Chris Hoornaert, has awarded Professor Bert Weckhuysen a Certificate for Achievements (‘Oorkonde van Verdienste’) of the Christoffel Plantin fund for his contributions to the prestige and appeal of Belgium in the Netherlands. This honor was given during a luncheon with Belgian CEOs, CTOs and CFOs working

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Metal nanoparticles as catalysts for fast and efficient CO2 conversion

Researchers of our full partners Utrecht University and BASF made some big steps in designing catalysts for the conversion of CO2 into a gas fuel. If you can apply this ‘power-to-gas’ principle with the use of solar energy, you can solve two problems at once: reduce CO2 emissions and create more flexible applications of sustainable

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All 2017 news

Bert Weckhuysen appointed as distinguished professor Utrecht University

With effect from 1 January 2018, Bert Weckhuysen has been appointed Distinguished Professor in ‘Catalysis, Energy and Sustainability’ at Utrecht University. Read the news on the website of Utrecht University. Source: website ARC CBBC

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C&EN cover story on Bert Weckhuysen

Chemical & Engineering News published a cover story on the work of ARC CBBC Executive Board member Bert Weckhuysen. The publication, entitled Hunting for the hidden chemistry in solid catalysts, elaborates on one of our consortium’s pillar research themes. Source: website ARC CBBC

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Recent media appearances – group of Bert Weckhuysen

BNR podcast: interview with Jochem Wijten June 7, 2017 The podcast is about the production of artificial manure, without the high CO2 emissions that appear during the Haber-Bosch process. Wijten explains how the new method takes up CO2 and can create Ammonia (one of the main compounds of artificial manure) without using crude oil. Listen

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Recent media appearances – group of Bert Weckhuysen

Lectures at Universiteit van Nederland in the Media In May 2016, Bert Weckhuysen appeared in a series of five lectures of the ‘Universiteit van Nederland’ (University of the Netherlands), in which he explains all about catalysis: from fuels, food and plastics to air pollution control. The lectures were received with great enthusiasm by the public

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Group of Bert Weckhuysen featured in podcast Captains of Chemistry

Bert Weckhuysen, Katinka Wondergem and Anne-Eva Nieuwelink feature in the first episode of ‘Captains of Chemistry’; a podcast by BNR. In this series, reporter Edwin Mooibroek explores the subjects of chemistry and innovation and tries to answer the question: How can the chemical sector contribute to a better, sustainable world? In this first episode, Katinka Wondergem explains how

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Pasi Paalanen and José Moya-Cancino featured in ‘De Werkplek’ on DUB

Pasi Paalanen and José Moya-Cancino have their research topic in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Fischer-Tropsch fuels are a possible alternative for crude oil. Both PhD candidates work under the supervision of Bert Weckhuysen and have their workplace in the David de Wied building at Utrecht Science Park “de Uithof”. However, their work is not limited to the

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Bert Weckhuysen receives Tanabe Prize for Acid-Base Catalysis

The prize was initiated by the International Acid-Base Catalysis Group and bears the name of Kozo Tanabe, who pioneered many of the modern concepts in catalytic chemistry of acids and bases. The jury praises Weckhuysen for his “groundbreaking work on chemical imaging of Brønsted acid sites and related catalytic chemistry within zeolite-based materials, a research

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The CatchBio Magazine – Ten years of Biomass Catalysis

In November 2016, the CatchBio consortium celebrated a decade of high-level research on catalytic biomass conversion. In an article in Agro & Chemie (March 2017), scientific director Bert Weckhuysen speaks about the consortium, its achievements and the future for catalysis of biomass in the Netherlands and abroad. CatchBio is a Smartmix research program on Biomass Catalysis

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Poster award for Carolien Vis at IGCS2017

On 24th of March Carolien Vis won a Green Chemistry poster prize during the International Green Catalysis Symposium, in Rennes, France. The poster was entitled “Towards Tandem Catalytic Biomass Conversion in Pickering Emulsions”, Authors: Carolien M. Vis, Pierre-François M. Vittoz, Pieter C.A. Bruijnincx.   The poster award consists of a coupon of the publisher the

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Marie Curie Grant for Mario De bruyn

The European Commission has granted a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship to Dr. Mario De bruyn. This three-year grant will allow Dr. De bruyn to execute his TAILORCAT project. The project is a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin at Madison (USA) and the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group at Utrecht University (the Netherlands). The first

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Zoran Ristanović receives the invitation to attend the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

The honorable invitation to the 67th Lindau Meeting is with special regard to excellence in research. The 67th Lindau Meeting will be dedicated to the field of chemistry. So far, 31 Nobel Laureates have confirmed their participation and will meet with 400 international young scientists. The opportunity to join the annual gathering of Nobel Laureates

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Bert Weckhuysen to receive Robert B. Anderson Award for contributions to catalysis research

Bert Weckhuysen will receive the 2018 Robert B. Anderson Award for his outstanding contributions to the fundamental understanding of the functioning of solid catalysts and the related development of advanced microscopy and spectroscopy methods. The Canadian Catalysis Foundation awards the prize every two years to an internationally recognized leader in the field of catalysis, without

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Marie Curie Grant for Matthias Filez

The European Commission granted a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships to Matthias Filez. The 2-year grant will allow Matthias Filez to link zeolite porosity to molecular diffusion at the single crystal level and will be in strong collaboration with the research group of Prof. Maarten Roeffaers from KU Leuven (Belgium). Dr. Filez will receive up to 178.000 Eur to finance

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ARC-CBBC selected the first researchers for personal membership

The first 39 researchers have been selected for personal membership for the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Block Consortium (ARC CBBC). Among them, Utrecht University researchers: Alfons van Blaaderen, Pieter Bruijnincx, Marjolein Dijkstra, Frank de Groot, Krijn de Jong, Petra de Jongh and Bert Weckhuysen. Members are provided exclusive access to the research programs of

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