Jan den Hollander

PhD Candidate
Employed since: October 2023
Email: j.denhollander1@uu.nl
Room: DDW 4th floor open office



Hydrogen is an important future energy carrier and heavily needed in hydrogenation processes in the chemical industry. Traditionally, it is produced by steam methane reforming (SMR) over a Ni/Al2O3 catalyst using differently shaped mm-sized particles. However, these catalysts often deactivate due to unwanted coke formation and metal sintering, and also lack flexibility for deployment in smaller reactors, which is desirable when using e.g. biomethane streams.

In my research, honeycomb-type catalyst materials (often used in automotive industry) loaded with platinum group metals (PGM) are explored to improve compatibility with smaller reactors. The goal is to develop in situ and operando techniques to monitor coke formation and metal sintering during SMR to gain a better understanding of deactivation processes. This ultimately leads to improved catalyst compositions and reaction conditions, and reveals reactor influences for hydrogen production via steam methane reforming.



2023 – present

PhD candidate at Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University


Project: 3-D chemical imaging of coke deposits and metal sintering within honeycomb catalyst materials for hydrogen production

Promotor: prof. dr. ir. Bert M. Weckhuysen

Sponsors: ARC CBBC & BASF


Research assistant at Utrecht University (ICC)

Topic: In-house in situ Transmission XRD for Gas Diffusion Electrodes for CO2 Electroreduction


2022 – 2023

Laboratory assistant at Utrecht University

Guiding first- and second-year chemistry students with organic chemistry practicals.


2020 – 2022

Master’s degree in Nanomaterials Science at Utrecht University

Thesis: ‘Probing the Surface pH during CO2 Electroreduction using in situ Raman Spectroscopy’ at ICC


Internship at Avantium

Topic: Stability of gas diffusion electrodes for CO2 reduction to formate


2017 – 2020

Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Utrecht University

Thesis: ‘Insight into the thermal quenching mechanism of Mn2+-doped compounds’ at CMI