October 2023

9th Catalysis Engineering reunion

On October 6 Harrie, together with Els and Donato, organised the 9th reunion of the Catalysis Engineering group. People from all over the world, some left recently, some a long time ago, came to Delft to join us. There was a nice program, which started with lab tours. At 16:00 we had presentations about the Catalysis Engineering group through the years, from Atsushi, Monique, Atul, Freek and Jacob. After that we enjoyed drinks in Bar het Lab and a wunderful Indonesian buffet.

September 2023

Thesis defense Donato Pinto

On September 22, 2023, Donato Pinto successfully defended his thesis "CH4 and CO2 utilisation by unsteady-state operation". His supervisors were Atsushis Urakawa and Ruud van Ommen.

Thesis defense Hugo Veldhuizen

On September 15, 2023, Hugo Veldhuizen defended his thesis "Novel Covalent Organic Frameworks for the Energy Transition". He was supervised by Sybrand van der Zwaag and Monique van der Veen.

March 2023

DamiĂĄn Vico van Berkel wins NCCC's Best Poster Award

DamiĂĄn's contribution to the 24th Edition of the Netherlands' Catalysis and Chemistry Conference, NCCC, was awarded the Best Poster award.

The work constitutes a part of his Master Thesis: 'Enhancement of mechanistic insights through spatiotemporally resolved methodologies, isotope labeling techniques and transient kinetic modelling', under the supervision of Atsushi Urakawa.

February 2023

VICI grant for Atsushi Urakawa

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded Atsushi Urakawa a Vici grant of up to 1.5 million euros. This will enable him to develop an innovative line of research and further expand his own research group for a period of five years. Vici is one of the largest personal scientific grants in the Netherlands and is aimed at advanced researchers.

Operando description of catalytic activity from the reactor-scale gradients 
Prof. dr. ir. A. Urakawa

Catalysis is the enabler of future sustainable and circular technologies. This research develops novel analytical tools to gain unprecedented insights about catalytically active sites and species as well as fluid concentration under working, operando conditions. Together with complementary analytical tools, reactorscale gradients such as fluid concentration, temperature, surface active sites and species, electronic states of catalysts will be elucidated. This research aims at uncovering reaction mechanisms and kinetics at the highest accuracy to accelerate rational development of next-generation catalytic processes and their commercialisation.

Atsushi: "The Vici grant will help me develop fundamental research tools and apply them to precisely understand and describe catalytic reactions. I am very excited about this privileged opportunity to bring the R&D methodologies in catalysis engineering to the next level and accelerate the transition towards more sustainable use and production of chemicals and fuels! "

Thesis defense Nat Phongprueksathat

On February 28, 2023, Nat Phongprueksathat successfully defended his thesis, entitled: 'Structures, activities, and mechanisms under the scopes - the quest for unveiling the nature of active sites for highly selective CO2 hydrogenation to methanol'. He was supervised by Atsushi Urakawa and Evgeny Pidko.

November 2022

Freek Kapteijn among the Highly Cited Researcher 2022

Freek Kapteijn is on the list of Highly Cited Researchers 2022, see here.

Highly Cited Researchers have demonstrated significant and broad influence reflected in their publication of multiple highly cited papers over the last decade.

October 2022

Thesis defense Chuncheng Liu

On October 31, 2022, Chuncheng Liu successfully defended his thesis, entitled: 'The hydrocarbon-pool chemistry of methanol conversions in zeolite catalysts'. He was supervised by Evgeny Pidko, Freek Kapteijn and Evgeny Uslamin.

April 2022

Thesis defense Sorin Bunea

On April 26, 2022, Sorin Bunea successfully defended his thesis, entitled: 'Novel catalysts and applications for polymer electrolyte membrane cells'. He was supervised by Atsushi Urakawa and Tom Burdyny.

October 2021

Manoj Coppens received the BSc thesis AMCEL award.

Manoj Coppens received this award for his research on the electrochemical NO reduction in a PEM cell, as part of his BSc research project under the supervision of prof. Atsushi Urakawa and Sorin Bunea. In his work, focused on the effects of the catalysts and reaction conditions, he achieved remarkable Faradaic efficiencies of NO conversion to ammonia and demonstrated new paths for waste-to-value conversion and towards pollutant reduction. The BSc thesis award, sponsored by Avantium, was presented during the AMCEL annual symposium where Manoj presented a poster on his research work.

June 2021

Thesis defense Robert Franz


On June 7, 2021, Robert Franz successfully defended his thesis 'Deactivation Pathways in Methane Upgrading Catalysis'. He was supervised by Evgeny Pidko and Atsushi Urakawa.

May 2021

Thesis defense Adrian Gonzalez Nelson

On May 20, 2021,  Adrian Gonzalez Nelson successfully defended his thesis 'Emergent Rotational Dynamics and Optical Properties of Metal-Organic Frameworks’. He was supervised by Monique van der Veen and Freek Kapteijn.

February 2021

Atul Bansode in a role of assistant professor in Catalysis Engineering

Atul obtained Masters from University of Pune and subsequently worked at NCL (Pune), Dow chemical Intl. Pvt. Ltd., in India before moving to ICIQ, Spain (2010) for his PhD studies. After PhD (2014), he continued his research work in high pressure catalysis and spectroscopy at ICIQ as a senior scientist until he joined TUDelft (2019). Starting from Feb. 2021, he will be taking a role of assistant professor in catalysis engineering and primarily responsible for research and educational activities at newly inaugurated Industrial Catalysis Lab.

January 2021

Atsushi Urakawa wins the prestigious “Japan Academy Medal” after previously receiving the JSPS award

The Japan Academy has announced that Atsushi Urakawa has been awarded the “Japan Academy Medal”. This award is presented to 6 eminent researchers who have received the JSPS Award (presented by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) that Urakawa received last month. A total of 25 researchers from all disciplines received the JSPS Award in this round.

The prize is awarded for the development of various CO2 catalytic conversion technologies and the methodologies to study catalytic reactions while catalysts are functional, for example under high pressure and high temperature conditions (so-called operando conditions) to understand the unique states of catalyst materials and active chemicals species types involved in reactions.

The prize is highly prestigious and one of the highest recognition in academia (in all fields; not only in science) in Japan. It recognizes relatively young researchers with rich creativity, superlative research ability and outstanding promises to be one of the global leaders in their field of research. The Japan Academy and the JSPS acknowledge Urakawas notable contributions to the catalysis science and anticipates continuing his role in innovating and leading the field.


Atsushi Urakawa:

“This prize means a lot for the importance of our research in generation of new knowledge and methodologies. I could not achieve this recognition alone and I sincerely thank my past and current colleagues for providing quality and passion into our research. Furthermore, receiving this prize requires great supports from various bodies in Japan. It seems a miracle and is just an invaluable honour as I am out of Japan for more than 20 years after my bachelor study to start my master study at TU Delft.

I have excellent and stimulating collaborators and friends at universities, research institutes and companies in Japan. Our ties might become stronger by this recognition. I will continue organising events together, bring excellent researchers from Japan (and from here to there) and deliver talks in Japan for the benefit of advancing science and education of next generation researchers here and there.

The award ceremony is usually held in February in the presence of representative royal family members. Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled for the first time due to the pandemic. In any case I was requested to share some information about my research with them. It is very encouraging to experience their eagerness and interests to learn about the cutting-edge research of the awardees.”

January 2021

Online thesis defenses Oleksii Pustovarenko and Miren Etxeberria Benavides

On January 14  Miren Etxeberria Benavides successfully defended her thesis 'High productivity hollow fiber membranes for CO2 capture’. She was supervised by Freek Kapteijn and Jorge Gascon

On January 11 Oleksii Pustovarenko successfully defended his thesis 'Crystal Engineering of Metal-Organic Frameworks for Molecular Recognition’. His promotors are Freek Kapteijn and Jorge Gascon.

December 2020

CE game night

The online game night took place on Thursday the 10th of December at 8:00 P.M. Lianne Bruggink and Jim de Kort, who are the organisers of this event, came up with the idea to combine a beer tasting with an all-time favourite, the online Pubquiz.

November 2020

Vidi grant for Monique van der Veen

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded Monique van der Veen a Vidi grant for her work on:

Nanoheaters to unravel catalytic reactions with ultimate time resolution

The Chinese sign for Catalyst is marriage broker, as it decreases the energy for two molecules to react. Many intermediates in the reaction process are too short-lived to detect. With laser pulses I will heat “nanoheaters” extremely fast to jumpstart the reaction after which I stroboscopically detect the short-lived intermediates.

November 2020

Freek Kapteijn among the Highly Cited Researcher 2020

Freek Kapteijn and Jorge Gascon (former TU Delft - Catalysis Engineering professor, now at KAUST) are on the list of Highly Cited Researchers 2020, see here.

This list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.

July 2020
Bento box lunch

Instead of the tradtional international dinner, the Catalysis Engineering group organised a (corona proof) Bento box lunch this year.

Outside, with enough space between us, we enjoyed great Japanese food and great company.

June, 2020

Farewell Michiel Makkee

After a career of 30 years at TU Delft, Michiel Makkee retired on June 20. Because of the coronavirus restrictions only  a small get-together outside the ICL could be organised, to thank him for his commitment to research and education, his discussions and his support.

May, 2020

Thesis defense Lingjun Hu at ICIQ

On May 28, 2020, Lingjun Hu successfully defended her thesis, entitled 'Advancing C1 catalysis by spatiotemporal analysis and dynamic operation'. She has done her research work at ICIQ, Tarragona, Spain, under the supervision of Atsushi Urakawa. She spent the last year of her PhD in the Catalysis Engineering group.

The defense was online.

March, 2020

Thesis defense Dmitrii Osadchii

On March 11, 2020, Dmitrii Osadchii successfully defended his thesis, entitled "Design and characterization of catalysts with isolated metal sites". His promotors were Prof. Freek Kapteijn and Prof. Jorge Gascon.

February, 2020

Article in Fluids Processing Magazine

The February issue of Fluids Processing contains a nice article about the Industrial Catalysis Lab. The article is on pages 8-11 and can be found here.

January, 2020

Thesis defense Riming Wang

On January 8, 2020, Riming Wang successfully defended his thesis, entitled "Metal-Organic Framework Mediated Catalyst Engineering for Electrochemical CO2 Reduction". His supervisors were Prof. Freek Kapteijn and Prof. Jorge Gascon.

December 2019

Thesis defense Eduardo Andrés García

On December 5, 219, Eduardo AndrĂ©s GarcĂ­a successfully defended his thesis, entitled: "Gas Adsorptive Separation through Microporous Materials". His promotors are Prof. Freek Kapteijn and Prof. Jorge Gascon.

November 20, 2019

Industrial Catalysis Lab (ICL) opening symposium & Atsushi Urakawa's Inaugural Address

During the morning the audience could enjoy the great talks at the symposium for Atsushi Urakawa's inaugural address and the opening of the industrial catalysis lab! Dr Venderbosch (BTG world) on biomass conversion, Dr Van den Brink (Shell) on catalysis, and Dr Schmid (Siemens) on electrolysis.

Dean Lucas van Vliet and Atsushii Urakawa officially opened the new Industrial Catalysis Lab. Lab tours were organised.

Atsushi Urakawa's inaugural address was entitled "Catalysing Innovation and Sustainability". You can watch it here.

November 2019

Freek Kapteijn and Jorge Gascon among the Highly Cited Researcher 2019

Freek Kapteijn and Jorge Gascon are on the list of Highly Cited Researchers 2019, see here.

This list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.

The article in TNW news can be found here.


November 2019

Thesis defense Emmanuel Skupien

On November 1, 2019, Emmanuel Skupien successfully defended his thesis, entitled: "Nanostructured Heterogeneous Catalysts: A Route to Higher Control of Active Sites". He was supervised by his promotors Prof. Freek Kapteijn, Prof. Patricia Kooyman and Prof. Michiel Kreutzer.

September 2019

Thesis defense Ágnes Szécsényi

On September 4, 2019, Ágnes SzĂ©csĂ©nyi successfully defended her thesis, entitled "Catalytic methane conversions with single-site porous catalysts: a computational approach". She was supervised by Prof. Evgeny Pidko and Prof. Jorge Gascon.

August 2019

JST - TU Delft Symposium

The JST-TU Delft symposium on "Innovating Methodologies in Catalysis", that was organised from August 26-27, ended with active discussions, establishing international network for fruitful collaboration. Many thanks to JST, excellent speakers, and enthusiastic participants!

April 2019

Atsushi Urakawa new professor Catalysis Engineering

On April 1 Prof. Atsushi Urakawa joined the Catalysis Engineering group.

Atsushi Urakawa is from Japan, he obtained his BSc degree in Applied Chemistry at Kyushu University (Japan) after which he joined Delft University of Technology for MSc study in Chemical Engineering. He obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), where he worked as a Senior Scientist and Lecturer until he joined ICIQ in Spain in 2010. His research group combines fundamental as well as highly applied research and focuses on the rational development of heterogeneous catalysts and processes aided by in situ and operando spectroscopic methods – which the group is also actively developing. After nine years at ICIQ, he will continue his research as a professor at Delft University of Technology.

March 2019

Thesis defense Ina Vollmer

On March 11, 219, Ina Vollmer successfully defended her thesis, entitled: "Towards activity descriptiors for the methane dehydroaromatization catalyst Mo/HZSM-5". Her promotors are Prof. Freek Kapteijn and Prof. Jorge Gascon.

January 2019

Thesis defense Anahid Sabetghadam Esfahani

On January 31, 2019, Anahid Sabetghadam Esfahani successfully defended her thesis, entitled “CO2 Capture by Metal-Organic Framework based Mixed Matrix Membranes”, that she wrote under supervision of promotors prof.dr. F. Kapteijn and prof.dr. J. Gascon.

January 2019

Freek Kapteijn awarded IChemE medal

Freek Kapteijn was presented with the Andrew Medal at the UK Catalysis Conference in Loughborough on 10 January by Professor Chris Hardacre, Head of the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science at the University of Manchester. Kapteijn then presented a lecture, entitled ‘Process intensification through structuring catalyst and reactor - Highly active Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalysts by MOF mediated synthesis’.

He said:

“I consider the Andrew medal as a recognition of the field of Catalysis Engineering. It underlines the importance of the activities of those who combine engineering and catalysis.”

See press relase here.

Photos IChemE

December 2018

Freek Kapteijn and Jorge Gascon among the Highly Cited Researcher 2018

Freek Kapteijn and Jorge Gascon are on the list of Highly Cited Researchers 2018, see here.

This list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.

The article in TNW news can be found here.

November 2018

Monique van der Veen awarded NWO Athena Prize 2018

At the CHAINS chemistry conference on 4 December, Dr Marie-Eve Aubin-Tam and Dr Monique van der Veen will receive the NWO Athena Prize 2018. The prize is awarded in recognition of women chemists who serve as role models for other researchers. Aubin-Tam and Van der Veen are both dedicated to improving tenure-track policy at Dutch universities. The prize is not only an acknowledgement of their achievements as scientists, but also celebrates their outstanding commitment to wider society. Read more.

October 2018
hesis defense Meixia Shan

On October 24 Meixia Shan received her Doctor degree after successfully defending her PhD thesis, entitled “Porous organic framework (POF) membranes for CO2 separation” that she wrote under supervision of promotors prof.dr. J. Gascon and prof.dr. F. Kapteijn. In the research Meixia developed membranes for CO2 capture, both for pre- and post-combustion systems. A patent is applied for on the preparation and application of the pre-combustion BILP membrane. This work was mentioned in several news items. A summary of the thesis can be found here.


September 2018

International Symposium on Catalysis Engineering

On September 28 we organised the International Symposium on Catalysis Engineering in the Science Centre.

September 2018

8th Reunion Catalysis Engineering

On September 27 we organised the 8th reunion of the Catalysis Engineering group. Because this was a special edition: the new building and Freek's retirement, people from all over the world came to Delft to join us. Freek presented us the achievements of Calysis Engineering group, there was a lab tour where it was even possible to visit  the almost finished new Catalysis lab and a wunderful Indonesian buffet.

September 2018

Science Advances: TUDelft BILP membrane separates H2 from CO2 under industrial conditions

Meixia Shan and Xinlei Liu developed an easy to synthesize benzimidazole linked polymer membrane (BILP) that separates hydrogen from carbon dioxide with a selectivity up to 40 under conditions that are relevant for industrial applications. It beats existing systems by a factor two and allows separation at lower energy costs. The BILP membrane can be used for other separations of hydrogen containing mixtures as well. 
The paper appeared in Science Advances Vol. 4, no. 9, eaau1698,
and also features in the TUD magazine Delta
and the Dutch Chemical Society (KNCV) Magazine C2W.

September 2018

Eduardo Andrés-Garcia received the award for the best oral presentation at 41st RIA

At the 41st Reunion IbĂ©rica de AdsorciĂłn, 5-7 September 2018, in Gijon, Spain, Eduardo AndrĂ©s-Garcia received the award for the best oral presentation.
He presented part of his pioneering PhD work on the adsorptive separation of propane-propene mixtures using ZIFs, an industrially important and one of the most energy consuming separation processes. 

August 2018

ZIF-8 growth examined by dynamic angle-resolved harmonic light scattering in Nature Communications

Monique’s team applied a new technique that allows following real time the crystal growth of the metal organic framework ZIF-8 in solution. The angle dependence of the signal provides insight into the growth mechanism by probing the evolution of size, shape and concentration, while polarization analysis yields structural information in terms of point group symmetry. 

Read more in Nature Communications

Augus 2018 

PhD research of Irinia Yarulina culminated in Nature Chemistry paper, featured on front page

Based on her PhD research deep mechanistic understanding of the effect of alkaline earth elements on the performance of ZSM-5 catalysts in the methanol to olefins (MTO) process was gained, and design rules were derived for the manufacture of stable and propene selective MTO catalysts. This work resulted in a collaborative paper in NatureChemistry, and reached the front cover of the Nature Chemistry issue in August 2018.

April 2018

IChemE Andrew medal for Freek Kapteijn

Professor Freek Kapteijn will receive the IChemE Andrew medal, being recognized as one of the founding fathers of Catalysis Engineering, pioneering concepts and approaches which will help improving the understanding of structure-performance relationships in heterogeneous catalysis and materials’ science. 
Read further

March 2018

Great International Dinner CE

Inspired by Joane and Marta everybody brought in favourite dishes from all over the globe. It was a tremendous success. No leftovers!

March 2018

Ina Vollmer won NIOK lecture award at the 19th NCCC and “Best Presentation” of the session at ACS NOLA, Spring meeting 2018

At the 19th Netherlands Chemistry and Catalysis Conference Ina Vollmer won the NIOK-lecture award for her presentation entitled 'On the dynamic nature of Mo sites for Methane Dehydroaromatization', work that she performed as part of her PhD project.

On the picture Ina receives the award from professor Joost Reek, chairman of the NIOK.

Later that month Ina was awarded “Best Presentation” of the session, during the ACS NOLA, Spring meeting 2018, 18-22 March, in New Orleans, USA, for her presentation â€˜On the Dynamic Nature of Mo sites for Methane Dehydroaromatization’, authored by Ina Vollmer, Bart van der Linden, Samy Ould-Chikh, Antonio Aguilar-Tapia, Irina Yarulina, Edy Abou-Hamad, Yuri G. Sneider, Alma I. Olivos Suarez, Jean-Louis Hazemann, Freek Kapteijn and Jorge Gascon.

March 2018

Tim Wezendonk succesfully defended his PhD thesis 2 March 2018

Tim Wezendonk received the Doctor degree after successful defense of his PhD thesis entitled 'Iron catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis derrived from Metal-Organic Frameworks: Fundamentals and Performance’. Tim worked on this topic under supervision of promotores Jorge Gascon and Freek Kapteijn. He destroyed MOF based on iron and created extremely active and stable catalysts for the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, at least one order of magnitude higher than existing systems due to the high iron loading and the high dispersion. The porous shell around these nanoparticles prevents the sintering.

December 2017

Freek Kapteijn recipient of the Golden Hoogewerff medal

At CHAINS 2017 the prestigious Golden Hoogewerff medal was awarded to Freek Kapteijn for his oeuvre in the field of Catalysis Engineering. This prestigious award is only awarded once in 4-5 years for special contributions in the field of Chemical Engineering by the Hoogewerff foundation. It is a recognition for the work in the field of structured reactors and catalysts on the interface of engineering and catalysis. At the picture Freek receives the medal from dr. Peter Berben, chairman of the Hoogewerff foundation.