Jim de Ruiter

PhD Candidate
Employed since: March 2020
Email: j.deruiter@uu.nl
Room: 4th floor, open office area



Carbon dioxide (CO2) could be a promising carbon source for the production of chemical building blocks. As big chemical processes release significant amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, it would be a waste not putting effort in finding novel processes to valorize CO2, as it could serve as a cheap and alternative carbon feedstock in our chemical industry.
Electrochemical reduction of CO2 using copper electrodes and (renewable) electricity to common chemicals, such as the C1 products carbon monoxide and methane or the C2 products ethylene and ethanol, has already been reported with high Faradaic efficiencies [1,2]. Although we know that copper has the unique ability to induce C-C coupling, production of C3+ compounds with high Faradaic efficiencies has not been reported yet. The kinetic pathways, and how we can control the selectivity and stability of electrocatalytic CO2 reduction to higher hydrocarbons, remain knowledge gaps and ask for more extended research. In this research, we will unravel these knowledge gaps regarding the kinetic pathways of CO2 reduction and try to enhance the product activity and selectivity (including to higher hydrocarbons C3+). We will use time resolved and high spatial resolution surface sensitive techniques that could lead to in situ visualization of reaction intermediates, and thus shed light on the reaction pathways that govern C3+ hydrocarbon formation. This will be realized using in situ surface-sensitive IR and Raman spectroscopy on copper nanoparticle (pure and alloys) electrodes.

[1] Chem. Rev. 2019, 119, 7610−7672.

[2] Nat. Energy 2019, 4, 732–745.



2020 – Present
PhD candidate in the group of Prof. dr. ir. Bert Weckhuysen, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University
Research topic: Surface-sensitive in-situ vibrational spectroscopy during CO2 electroreduction reaction

2017 – 2019
Master Nanomaterials Science at Utrecht University
Master thesis: Cobalt(II) Metal Organic Framework Coatings for CO2 Photo-Reduction.

Research internship at Total Feluy, Belgium.
Topic: Problem Solving in Propylene Polymerization

2014 – 2017
Bachelor Chemistry at Utrecht University
Bachelor thesis: ‘Observations in the Colloidal Syntheses of Alumina Coated Gold Nanoparticles for SHINERS.

2008 – 2014
Secondary education (HAVO and VWO) at Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap (Kees Boeke), Utrecht, The Netherlands


An, H.; Wu, L.; Mandemaker, L. D. B.; Yang, S.; de Ruiter, J.; Wijten, J. H. J.; Janssens, J. C. L.; Hartman, T.; van der Stam, W.; Weckhuysen, B. M.

Sub-Second Time-Resolved Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Reveals Dynamic CO Intermediates during Electrochemical CO2 Reduction on Copper Journal Article

In: Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 60 (30), pp. 16576-16584, 2021, (cited By 3).

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