First prize from De Nederlandse Gasindustrie Prijzen 2020 for Joseph Daatselaar

News - 30 November 2020 - Communication TNW


On November 30, Joseph Daatselaar received the first prize from the Dutch Gas Industry Awards (De Nederlandse Gasindustrieprijzen) for his thesis research “Microporous Separators for CO2 Electrolysis”. He was nominated by Prof. Dr. Bernard Dam of Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage, with whom he conducted the research.

Daatselaar says he is extremely grateful and flattered that Prof.dr. Dam considered his thesis for this award. He finds the research very relevant for this award as it focuses on the development of materials and technologies for sustainable energy applications, which in many cases (the topic of his thesis, for instance) includes the study of (electrochemical) gas processes.

Daatselaars thesis focused on the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2, a very exciting technology that could benefit the energy transition along 2 fronts: the first being intermittent energy storage, for example from wind and solar, and the second being carbon dioxide utilization.  Within this topic, his thesis investigated the possibility of increasing the energy efficiency by replacing the commonly used ion exchange membranes with a more robust design, that is a microporous separator.  After performing a series of bulk electrolysis experiments in a flow-cell design, retro-fitted to include 2 reference electrodes, with one on either side of the membrane, results suggested that porous separators perform comparably to, and sometimes better than, common ion-exchange membranes in electrochemical CO2 reduction to CO in terms of energy efficiency, membrane resistance, and overall cell potential.

De Nederlandse Gasindustrie Prijzen were established in 2006 by de Nederlandse Gasunie, EnergieNed, GasTerra, and KVGN.  The prizes aim to encourage young, promising students to become professionals in the gas industry and to write a master's thesis that is remarkable, special, and innovative. The prizes are sponsored by KVGN (the Royal Dutch Gas Association), and the theses are assessed by KHMW (the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen).  To be eligible, graduating students must produce a master's thesis in the field of system integration and the role of gaseous molecules in this. The first prize is an amount of EUR 6000.

Joseph Daatselaar: “Completing my thesis in this topic as the final step in my MSc degree really solidified my passion for energy and driving the energy transition, and this award is an honor that reconfirms that.  While taking a slight change in direction, I am happy to say that I am still learning and growing in this field with my current role at ING, which consists of financing larger companies across the energy sub-sectors, from O&G to renewables and even newer energy transition technologies.”