TYC@QMUL Seminar: On Hydrogen Production and the Nanocatalysts Resilience

Dr Alberto Roldan, Cardiff University

Friday 26th October 2018
Time: 12:30pm
Venue: Bancroft Building, room 2.40, Queen Mary University of London
Contact: Colin Rainey
Tel: 0207 882 7861

The potential of hydrogen to make a substantial contribution to sustainable energy and environment has long been identified, despite, its cost-effective production still relies on fossil fuels.  Along the presentation, we will explore the evolution of hydrogen upon formic acid catalytic decomposition on supported metallic particles. Indeed, this molecule is cheap and easily transportable, which helped us the develop proof of concept. Nevertheless, the overall potential and sustainability of any catalytic process are dependent on the ability of the catalyst to be reusable without loss of performance. For this reason, we are paying particular attention to catalysts resilience, where the interaction between the metal nanoparticle and support are crucial to minimising coalescence and leaching of the, often, precious materials.



Alberto undertook BSc in Chemistry with a physical-chemistry speciality at the University of Barcelona in 2006. Here, he carried out an Experimental Masters (MSc) where he sought to explore the effect of synthesised magnetite nano-particles deposited together with electrochemical copper films.

Received his PhD in 2010 at the University Rovira i Virgili, which received the recognition of the Best Thesis in Computational Chemistry in 2011. By this time, Alberto had twelve peer-reviewed publications; two from a visiting fellowship to Milano-Bicocca University, in collaboration with Prof. Pacchioni for a project modelling the reactivity of metallic clusters supported on oxide’s step surfaces, funded by COST-D41 European collaborative grant.

Alberto joined Prof. de Leeuw’s group at UCL in October 2010 as the computational lead in EPSRC funded programmes, investigating carbon dioxide reduction catalysed by iron sulfides and oxide surfaces in direct collaboration with experimental groups.  The group obtained computational-experiment proof-of-concept on the reactivity of these sulfides towards CO2 conversion under mild conditions with a detailed mechanistic reaction profile of relevance to the Origin of Life hypothesis based on sulfide containing ocean floor vents. In addition, Alberto was part of other projects including reactivity on two-dimensional materials, oxides and metallic surfaces. This successful research activity was recognised in 2012 when he was awarded the Ramsay Memorial Fellowship Trust allowing him to develop further in the field of materials and catalytic chemistry.

Since 2015, Alberto has been a Research Fellow at Cardiff University with active participation in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute. His research is based on computer simulation, linking materials composition and atomic structure to their resilience and reactivity for new energy and environmental technology. Currently, Alberto's research has led to more than 60 publications in international peer-review journals with more than 1000 citations and H-index of 20.

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