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High school students Chris Kooijman (18) and Max Tiemersma (17) from RSG Simon Vestdijk in Harlingen won a ‘profielwerkstuk’ prize with their investigation in methanol synthesis from carbon dioxide. They performed part of their research together with Dr Maria Ronda Lloret at the Catalysis Engineering group led by Dr Shiju Raveendran at HIMS, UvA.

Chris and Max performed their profielwerkstuk on the conversion of carbon dioxide to useful chemicals, focusing on the synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The duo performed experiments on the reaction between CO2 and butane (dry reforming) at UvA, leading to a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen (syngas). This can then be used to produce green methanol. These experiments are reported in their thesis.

Chris (left) and Max (middle), together with Maria (right), during their lab visit in HIMS.

As a result of their high-quality research, the students were nominated to several prizes: the Van Melsenprijs, which is awarded by the Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, and the ‘beste profielwerkstuk van Friesland’ (the best profielwerkstuk of Friesland) awarded by the Leeuwarder Courant, the most read newspaper in Friesland.

The duo won both the jury and public prize for the ‘beste profielwerkstuk van Friesland’. This is the first time both prizes were won by the same team. Chris and Max are very happy with both prizes and are thankful for their lab experience in the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences at UvA.

Max (right) and Chris (left) holding their prizes.