Francesco Mattarozzi

PhD Candidate
Employed since: December 2018
Room: 4th floor open area



Electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide: elucidating the role of carbon-supported silver nanoparticles, support and electrolyte

Carbon dioxide emission, from fossil fuel utilization, is considered a significant threat to global economy and sustainability.

Hence the share of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, in our energy supply is increasing rapidly. However, the use of renewable energy at a large scale is challenging, considering the intermittent nature and lack of efficient large-scale electricity storage.

Converting CO2 to useful fuels or chemicals leads to utilization of one of the major greenhouse gases as a carbon feedstock, but the activation of this extremely stable molecule is a challenging task. Electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide represents one of the most promising strategies.

The topic of my PhD project is to electrochemically convert carbon dioxide into valuable chemicals (mainly carbon monoxide), using carbon supported silver nanoparticles [1]. In particular, the aim is to study the effect of particle size, of different carbon support (different surface functional groups) and of the electrolyte on this electrochemical reaction.

[1] Ma, M.; Trzeniewski, Bartek J.; Xie, J.; Smith, Wilson A.,Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2016, 55, 9748 –9752

Link to Eye-openers presentation





Dec 2018 – present

PhD candidate at the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University

Under supervision of Prof. Dr P. E. (Petra) de Jongh and Dr. Peter Ngene.

Project title: Electrochemical CO2 conversion: elucidating the role of supported Ag nanoparticles, support and electrolyte.

2016 – 2018



Master’s Degree in Industrial Chemistry, Università degli Studi di MIlano, Milan (Italy),

Under supervision of Prof. Laura Prati

Project title: Pd-based catalysts for selective hydrogenation reactions




Five months internship at the Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis group, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University

Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. P. E. (Petra) de Jongh Giorgio Totarella.


2013 – 2016


Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, Università degli Studi di MIlano, Milan (Italy), under supervision of Prof. Claudia Letizia Maddalena Bianchi


2008 – 2013


Scientific high-school diploma, Liceo Scientifico Galileo Galilei, Erba (COMO)