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Nick Daems

  • Research interest:My main area of expertise is centered around catalysis and more specifically around electrocatalysis. This topic includes the synthesis and both the electrochemical and physicochemical characterization of electrocatalytic materials, necessary to lower the overpotential while maintaining high activity and selectivity. In this context, I have gained expertise with various types of electrocatalysts, going from noble metal nanoparticles to non-noble transition metal-containing doped carbons to metal-free ordered doped porous carbons. Within this field, I have ample experience with all electrochemical (CV, LSV, CA, EIS) and analytical methods (GC, HPLC), necessary to determine the electrocatalytic performance as well as with different physicochemical characterization techniques (XPS, Raman, XRD, TEM, SEM, EDX), necessary to correlate the electrochemical performance to specific physicochemical properties of the investigated electrocatalysts and as such optimize them for different electrochemical applications. All of the above expertise is relevant for the rapidly emerging field of industrial electrification, where my main interests lay. In this respect, I am currently investigating the use of H2O and CO2 as renewable feedstock for the electrochemical production of fuels and chemicals (e.g. carbon monoxide, formic acid or methanol), employing excess electricity generated by renewable power sources (like wind or solar) to drive the reactions. Another topic of interest is the electrochemical cogeneration where fuel cells are applied not only to generate electricity but also to deliver industrially valuable products such as aniline, hydrogen peroxide or hydroxylamine.
  • Disciplines:Electrochemical methods, Transition metal chemistry, Chemical characterisation of materials, Synthesis of materials, Electrochemistry, Catalysis , Heterogeneous catalysis, Membrane technologies, Recycling
  • Research techniques:Electrochemistry (LSV, CV, CA, RRDE in combination with on-line product analysis GC, HPLC, etc.) Physicochemical characterization (XRD, TGA, SEM + EDX, TEM, ICP-MS, N2 adsorption, Raman, etc. )Materials synthesis (Pyrolysis, rotary evaporator, centrifuge, sonication, reflux, etc.)
  • Users of research expertise:UniversitiesChemical companies requiring analytical techniquesResearch institutes (e.g. VITO) Chemical companies investing in sustainable synthesis techniques