Florian Meirer

Associate Professor
Employed since: Associate Professor since 2020
Phone: +31 6 22736338
Email: f.meirer (at) uu.nl
Room: 4.86



“We want to look at functional materials and understand how they work – in catalysis, the environment, and even in old oil paintings.”

Research focus:
Catalysis, Spectroscopy, X-ray physics, Environmental analysis, Data mining & Chemometrics

Florian Meirer is Associate Professor in the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis research group at Utrecht University. The group develops and works with various spectro-microscopic techniques to study (functional) nanomaterials in various fields such as catalysis and environmental analysis. In particular, in heterogenous catalysis, Florian focuses on understanding mass transport in catalyst bodies by X-ray microscopy, Super-resolution Localization Microscopy, and diffusion simulations. Projects from environmental analysis and data mining include exploring decision support systems for conservators treating old oil paintings by correlating hyperspectral imaging methods as well as studying nanoplastics and their impact on the environment.

Concerning the latter, as a member of the UPlasticS3 network, Florian Meirer is involved in research into so-called nanoplastics, which are very difficult to detect with conventional techniques. Using highly specialised techniques, the team is able to measure these minuscule particles, down to less than a thousandth of the width of a human hair. Aims are to also measure type and age of these particles to understand how they form and interact with the environment. The group is currently working on detecting nanoplastics also in tissue and blood, which is especially challenging. If this becomes possible it will help not only in detecting the plastic itself, but also in assessing any toxicological effects.

Fields of interest:

  • Heterogenous Catalysis
  • Spectro-microscopy
  • Tomography & Network analysis
  • Environmental analysis
  • Data mining & chemometrics





Florian Meirer started his work at Utrecht University in 2013. He is a regular user at different Synchrotron Radiation Facilities throughout Europe (ESRF, PETRAIII & ANKA) and the USA (SSRL & NSLS) focusing on the characterisation of complex hierarchical materials by means of x-ray spectro-microscopic methods.

Associate Professor in the Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis Group

Assistant Professor in the Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis Group

Post-doc at Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento, Italy (Marie-Curie COFUND fellowship, EU project of FP6, acronym DART

Post-doc at the Stanford Synchrotron radiation Lightsource, Menlo Park, CA, USA (Erwin Schrödinger Fellowship of the Austrian Science Fund), Supervisor: Prof. Piero Pianetta

ScD (Dr. techn.) in Technical Physics, Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics, Vienna, Austria, Thesis: “Applications of synchrotron radiation induced TXRF-XANES analysis”, ISBN-13: 978-3838107929, Supervisor: Prof. Christina Streli

MSc (Dipl.-Ing.) in Technical Physics, Vienna University of Technology


03 November 2022

Publication in Angewandte Chemie: Review of techniques to study nano plastics

On October 21, 2022, Laurens Mandemaker and Florian Meirer published a review in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Angewandte Chemie investigating the different micro-spectroscopic techniques available specifically for the detection of […]

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11 May 2021

Where has all the plastic gone? Ina Vollmer & Florian Meirer interviewed about plastic in the environment

Ina Vollmer and Florian Meirer have been interviewed for an in-depth article about plastic in the environment: 99 percent of all the plastics in the ocean is missing. We know […]

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23 November 2020

Research into microplastics and nanoplastics and chemical substances

Bert Weckhuysen and Florian Meirer are involved in two major European Horizon 2020 projects that are all connected with research into substances that are harmful to our health. A brief […]

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24 September 2020

Florian Meirer promoted to Associate Professor

As of September 2020 Dr. Florian Meirer was promoted to Associate Professor (UHD) in the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group. He is very much looking forward to continue his work […]

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Other publications

See earlier publications on Scopus.