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Heterogeneous Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry

Heterogeneous Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry
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Rothenberg Group

Our mission statement

To discover new catalysts and materials for sustainable chemistry and energy applications, and have lots of fun meanwhile.

Principal investigators

HCSC is led by three principal investigators with complementary research lines: Gadi Rothenberg (catalyst design), Ning Yan (electrochemistry and fuel cells) and Amanda Garcia (organic electrosynthesis). We work chiefly on fundamental processes that relate to bulk chemicals and sustainable energy solutions. The applications include chemicals from biomass, CO2 conversion, sustainable processes and catalysis for clean energy.

Lab facilities

We have over 400 mof state-of-the-art labs labs are located at the Amsterdam Science Park for the synthesis, testing and characterisation of catalysts and porous materials.

Teaching activities

We are involved in teaching of chemistry and catalysis at all levels. Our undergraduate textbook Catalysis: Concepts and Green Applications (2nd edn., 2017) covers homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalysis from a Green Chemistry perspective. Accouring to Wiley-VCH, it is the most popular introductory textbook in catalysis. This book was also translated to Chinese by profs. Xu, Shen, Yue and Hua of Fudan University, and published by Higher Education Press of the Chinese Ministry for Education. Our textbook on Ceramic Membranes (2016) is intended for graduate and senior undergraduate courses.

Handbook of Porous Materials

In November 2020, our new Handbook of Porous Materials was published by WorldScientific. Written by experts from all over the world, this 4-volume reference work covers the synthesis, characterisation and applications of porous materials for catalysis, industrial separations and energy conversion and storage.

Industrial collaborations

We work closely with industry on several projects, both in public-private partnerships and contract research.

Knowledge valorisation

Our research has led to several patents, some of which were sold to industry. We also founded of three sprin-off companies: Sorbisense A/S in Denmark manufactures and markets passive samplers for monitoring soil and groundwater (bought by Eurofins in 2018), Yellow Diesel BV, that developed new routes to biodiesel via heterogeneous catalysis, and Plantics BV, that markets a new biodegradable plastic that was invented in the group. We also invented new Fischer-Tropsch catalysts (with Total), and a catalyst and process for removing cyanide from wastewater, which was scaled up by Tata Steel.

Open-access publishing

All our research is published in international peer-reviewed journals. We focus on societies’ journals, and publish our papers open-access. Group members are also encouraged to write semi-popular articles. We do not review papers for commercial publishers.


Our PhD and postdoc vacancies are always published online. If no vacancies are listed, NO POSITIONS are available. MSc and BSc project students are welcome to apply by contacting one of the PIs.