Heterogeneous Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry
Welcome to the Rothenberg group webspace!
Our mission statement
To discover new catalysts and materials for sustainable chemistry and energy applications, and have lots of fun meanwhile.
Our research focuses on understanding what makes catalysis tick. We work chiefly on fundamental processes that are related to bulk chemicals and sustainable energy solutions. The applications include coal-to-liquid (CTL) and biomass-to-liquid (BTL), as well as biomass to chemicals and finding new catalytic routes to a variety of industrial materials.
The group's strengths are in catalyst design, catalyst synthesis and testing, and catalyst characterisation under real-life conditions. We specialise in the synthesis of nanostructured inorganic and hybrid organic/inorganic materials, and in using predictive modelling in catalysis research. The group is interdisciplinary (organic chemists, physicists, chemical engineers, electronics experts, materials scientists, chemometricians and computational chemists), and all our projects benefit from this.
Our new laboratories are located at the Science Park Amsterdam. We have over 400 m2 of state-of-the-art labs for the synthesis, testing and characterisation of catalysts and porous materials.
We are involved in teaching of chemistry and catalysis at all levels.
The textbook Catalysis: Concepts and Green Applications (Wiley-VCH, 2008, ISBN 978-3-527-31824-7) and its accompanying website, are the group's most recent contribution to enhancing catalysis education worldwide. This book was a Wiley-VCH bestseller in 2008, and is the most popular introductory textbook in catalysis.
We work closely with industry on several projects. Currently, we are collaborating with Solvay, DSM and Avantium Technologies.
Spin-off companies and patents
Our research has led to the founding of two companies: Sorbisense A/S in Denmark, that manufactures and markets new passive samplers for monitoring soil and groundwater, and Yellow Diesel BV in the Netherlands, that develops new routes to biodiesel via heterogeneous catalysis. We also invented a new ammoximation catalyst and process, and most recently a new type of biodegradable plastics.
Publishing and reviewing policy
We publish our research results in top peer-reviewed journals. As a rule, we focus on societies' journals. Where possible, we publish in open-access media or purchase the open access rights. Group members are also encouraged to write semi-popular articles for the local and (inter)national press. In general, we do not review papers for commercial publishers.
Vacancies and recruitment policy
We're always looking for outstanding scientific talent. Note, however, that all PhD and postdoc vacancies in the group are published via the UvA-web. If no vacancies are listed, it means that no PhD or postdoc positions are available.
MSc students wishing to carry out their research project in the group are welcome to apply. Note, however, that unlike PhD students, MSc students do not receive a salary. This means that applicants must find their own funding for travel, accommodation, and living expenses.
For any questions or comments related to the website itself, please contact the group webmaster, ing. Norbert J. Geels.