Carlos Hernández Mejía

PhD Candidate
Employed since: April 2015
Room: 4th floor



Niobia-based metal catalysts for synthesis gas conversion

Co-funding: Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração — CBMM
Promotor: Prof. dr. ir. Krijn de Jong

Conversion of synthesis gas (H2 and CO) to chemicals and fuels enjoys great attention as an alternative to the traditional crude oil based processes. The catalysts used for these processes are essential to these processes and therefore subject to continuous research, innovation and improvement. From previous research in our group [1] several advantages of Nb2O5 as support material for cobalt Fischer Tropsch catalysts have been found. These advantages comprise high bulk density of the support leading to high volume-based activity, high surface specific activity (TOF) for cobalt on niobia when promoted with a noble metal and very high selectivities to higher hydrocarbons which allows operation at more elevated temperatures.

In this project, we aim to understand niobia-based Co catalysts for Fischer Tropsch synthesis and to extend to other Nb-based materials and metals (e.g. Ni, Cu, Fe). Focusing specially on:

  • Understand the nature of noble-metal promotion of Co/Nb2O5 catalysts.
  • Establish and explore the nature of metallic (Co, Ni, Cu, Fe) nanoparticles supported on niobia and extend niobia applications.
  • Explore alternative niobia-based catalysts for FT and related catalysis.

For  this, state-of-the-art characterization techniques will be used such as AP-XPS, HR-TEM, SSITKA and XAS.

1. den Otter, J. H. & de Jong, K. P. Highly Selective and Active Niobia-Supported Cobalt Catalysts for Fischer–Tropsch Synthesis. Top. Catal. 57, 445–450 (2013).



2014 – Present
PhD student in the group of Prof. dr. ir. K.P. de Jong, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University
Research topic: Niobia-based metal catalysts for synthesis gas conversion.

2013 – 2015
Master in Chemistry: Molecular design, synthesis and catalysis, University of Amsterdam.
Master thesis: ‘Highly active liquid phase hydrogenation of xylose over Ru/TiO2: Rutile makes it happen’.
Research internship at Albemarle Catalysts Company b.v., Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2009 – 2012
Bachelor Chemistry, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
Bachelor thesis: ‘Synthesis and Characterization of the system YbFe1-xMnxO3 (0.0 ≤ x ≤ 1.0)’
Exchange at the University of Amsterdam, research project: ‘Synthesis and characterization of PbCrO4 systems as oxygen reservoirs for selective H2 oxidation in the presence of hydrocarbons’.

Born in Tijuana, Mexico on the 4th of July.


Rivera-Torrente, M; Mejía, Hernández C; Hartman, T; de Jong, K P; Weckhuysen, B M

Impact of Niobium in the Metal–Organic Framework-Mediated Synthesis of Co-Based Catalysts for Synthesis Gas Conversion Journal Article

Catalysis Letters, 149 (12), pp. 3279-3286, 2019, (cited By 0).

Links | BibTeX

van Deelen, T W; Mejía, Hernández C; de Jong, K P

Control of metal-support interactions in heterogeneous catalysts to enhance activity and selectivity Journal Article

Nature Catalysis, 2 (11), pp. 955-970, 2019, (cited By 2).

Links | BibTeX

Mejía, Hernández C; Vogt, C; Weckhuysen, B M; de Jong, K P

Stable niobia-supported nickel catalysts for the hydrogenation of carbon monoxide to hydrocarbons Journal Article

Catalysis Today, 2018, (cited By 0; Article in Press).

Links | BibTeX

Mejía, Hernández C; van Deelen, T W; de Jong, K P

Activity enhancement of cobalt catalysts by tuning metal-support interactions Journal Article

Nature Communications, 9 (1), 2018, (cited By 1).

Links | BibTeX

Oschatz, M; Krause, S; Krans, N A; Mejía, Hernández C; Kaskel, S; Jong, De K P

Influence of precursor porosity on sodium and sulfur promoted iron/carbon Fischer-Tropsch catalysts derived from metal-organic frameworks Journal Article

Chemical Communications, 53 (73), pp. 10204-10207, 2017, (cited By 4).

Links | BibTeX

Mejía, Hernández C; den Otter, J H; Weber, J L; de Jong, K P

Crystalline niobia with tailored porosity as support for cobalt catalysts for the Fischer–Tropsch synthesis Journal Article

Applied Catalysis A: General, 548 , pp. 143-149, 2017, (cited By 3).

Links | BibTeX