Cu-based electrocatalysts for solar fuels
A strongly emerging topic is how we can use renewable energy sources to produce fuels and chemicals from water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) using electroreduction. Energy efficiency and product selectivity of this conversion are strongly dependent on the electrocatalyst material. The uniquely high activity of copper (Cu) catalysts to electroreduce CO2 in aqueous solutions to hydrocarbons was reported by Hori almost 20 years ago , but has recently received much interest due to the possible relevance to convert solar electricity directly into fuels . Building on experience in our group, carbon-supported Cu-based catalysts will be explored, which are uniquely capable to produce hydrocarbons, alcohols and other products with relatively high Faradaic efficiencies from reduction of CO2 and H2O. In my project, I study CO2 electroreduction by using the electrocatalytic activity of Cu-based nanoparticles on conductive carbon materials. The influence of nanoparticle size, shape and composition will be investigated in detail, to reach understanding of how optimum product selectivity can be achieved. A general scheme of my project is show in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Production of hydrocarbons and other chemicals by the electroreduction of CO2 and H2O via sunlight-generated electricity.
 Y. Hori et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 85 (8), 2309-2326 (1989)
 M. Koper et al, Nanoscale, 3 (5), 2054-2073 (2011)
2016 – Present
PhD candidate in the group of Prof. dr. P. E. de Jongh, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
Graduate Research Trainee, McGill University, Canada
Supervisor: Dr. Dimitrios Berk, Department of Chemical Engineering, Plasma processing group.
Master thesis Project: Synthesis and Characterization of graphene nanoflakes decorated with cobalt and iron phthalocyanines for catalytic applications.
MSc Semiconductor Devices Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP). Puebla, México.
Superpave Mix Designer and asphalt binder technician, Innova Pavimentos de México. Puebla, México.
Undergraduate Research Trainee, Centro Universitario de Vinculación (CUVyTT) BUAP. Puebla, México.
BSc Materials Science and Engineering, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), México.
Bachelor thesis Project: Production and characterization of composite materials made with natural fibres.