In 2018, Syngaschem celebrated its first lustrum. It was a scientifically successful year with significant progress in the two major research programs (namely Mechanisms of Fischer-Tropsch Reactions, and Electrolysis), 17 articles published, with 5 more in the pipeline, and 34 scientific presentations. All SynCat@DIFFER staff, including the PhD students, visited SynCat@Beijing and participated in a joint symposium. To celebrate the first lustrum, Syngaschem sponsored several conferences and...Published on: April 9, 2019
We are pleased and honoured to announce that Professor Michael Claeys of the University of Cape Town has accepted our invitation to be an official advisor for Syngaschem, as of the beginning of this year. Michael is internationally well known as a specialist in Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, and also for his successes in developing a unique in-situ magnetic characterization instrument that has revealed many important features of the stability of iron and cobalt catalysts under FTS conditions. He...Published on: March 23, 2019
The online magazine “Research Features” published an article on SynCat@Beijing in their series “Thought Leaders.” The article is based on an interview with Hans Niemantsverdriet in the Spring of 2018, and is freely available online.
A PDF-version is available for download here .
Published on: December 5, 2018
Syngaschem has been sponsoring several collaborative research projects at the Universities of Cape Town (UCT) and the Free State (UFS) for three years, through which it benefits from some unique strengths which are not available in Eindhoven or at SynCat@Beijing. Like in 2017, workshops were held last November at either university to discuss progress and the way forward.
University of Cape Town
On Friday November 16, Profs Michael Claeys and Nico Fischer hosted a meeting at UCT where...Published on: December 5, 2018
Kees-Jan Weststrate has recently presented his work on the crucial function of CO as intermediate in Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis at the European Conference on Surface Science in Aarhus, and in an international meeting in Taiyuan, China. His work will also appear in ACS Catalysis in the course of this Fall.
Adsorbed carbon monoxide is of course an essential ingredient in the conversion of syngas (CO+H2) to hydrocarbons, but the CO molecule fulfills another essential role which has until now...Published on: October 16, 2018
This week (Aug 26 -31) dr Hans Fredriksson presents his micro reactor equipped with UV-vis detection in a talk at ECOSS-34 in Aarhus, Denmark. He demonstrates the capabilities of this in house design with several examples on copper catalysts in catalytic reactions such as the watergas shift, or CO oxidation, and illustrates how the on line UV-vis monitoring of the copper oxidation state has resolved a few disputes on the active state of copper in the catalyst.
Syngaschem’s Dr Foteini Sapountzi presents her recent work on alcohols assisted hydrogen production at two premier electrochemistry meetings this summer, namely the International Symposium of Electrocatalysis (Electrocat2018), Aug 29 to Sep 1, 2018 in Szczyrk, Poland, and also at the 69th Annual meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry, Sep 2 - 7, 2018 in Bologna, Italy.
Alcohol-assisted electrolysis is becoming a subject of rapidly growing interest, as it takes considerably...Published on: August 28, 2018
Dr Foteini Sapountzi’s poster on H2 from alcohol reforming in acid and alkaline media, presented at the Netherlands Catalysis and Chemistry Conference (NCCC XIX) at Noordwijkerhout, March 5-7, can be downloaded here.
Syngaschem BV was established in May 2013 to support the development of SynCat@Beijing, and to set up its own research facility. Five years later both laboratories, in Beijing and Eindhoven, are in full swing. To celebrate, Syngaschem sponsors several scientific conferences this year, see the special advertisement for this purpose.
Why Syngaschem BV?...Published on: March 2, 2018
Cape Town, January 16, 2018 . The Council of the University of Cape Town (UCT) has appointed Hans Niemantsverdriet as Honorary Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, for a period of five years in effect from January 1 2018 to December 31, 2022.
The University has a tradition of conferring honorary titles on members of the community who hold special ties with one of its Departments. In this sense, Hans has been actively involved in the Center of Excellence on catalysis,...Published on: March 2, 2018
In the wake of the new year we are proud to announce yet another top journal article authored by a SynCat researcher: This time Ren Su had to do his best to convince a reviewer and an editor, and succeeded gloriously.
SynCat Researchers have been very successful in publishing articles in high-impact journals this year. The following two articles were accepted in the month of October.
Impact Factors - Angewandte: 11.994; JACS: 13.858;
Angewandte Chemie (International Edition)
As we reported earlier on the website, Xi Liu’s TEM work appeared in Angewandte Chemie:
“New Insights into the Activation and Deactivation of Au/CeZrO4 in the Low-Temperature Water-Gas Shift Reaction”, coauthored by a team of...Published on: December 1, 2017
Published on: October 28, 2017
On June 6, 2017, Yibin Bu defended her PhD thesis “In situ UV-vis and mass spectrometry in the study of Cu model catalyst in CO-related heterogenous catalysis” at Eindhoven University of Technology.
Her promotors, Prof Hans Niemantsverdriet from Syngaschem BV and Prof Ton Backx from the department of Electrical Engineering, as well as her co-promotor, dr Hans Fredriksson, Research Scientist at Syngaschem BV, were very pleased with the outcome of her work: It established UV-vis...Published on: June 29, 2017
Huairou, May 8, 2017. Professor Chunli Bai, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, visited Synfuels China, while accompanied by an entourage of scientific and administrative support staff of at least 20 persons. The visit's program included a short tour through the surface science and TEM facilities of SynCat@Beijing. Professor Bai, himself an accomplished surface scientist with considerable STM expertise, showed much interest in the UHV equipment, and asked many expert questions...Published on: May 11, 2017
On Thursday, April 27, 2017, Richard van de Sanden, Director of the National Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER), from Eindhoven, The Netherlands, visited Syncat@Beijing and Synfuels China.
His lecture “Electrifying the Future: the Enabling Role of Renewable Energy-driven Chemistry” addressed the future role of electricity for producing fuels and chemicals. His institute DIFFER, with a headcount of about 150 scientists and technicians, focuses on two major themes in...Published on: May 7, 2017
Huairou, Beijing. In an effort to disseminate knowledge of and facilitate scientific discussion about the use of environmental transmission electron microscopy in catalysis research, SynCat@Beijing hosted a workshop in collaboration with DENSsolutions on March 9, 2017. The Dutch enterprise DENSsolutions from Delft is a renowned manufacturer of environmental flow cells that allow TEM experiments with catalysts under gas flows at relevant reaction temperatures.
As he welcomed around 70...Published on: April 19, 2017
by Dr Tingbin Lim
The 3rd SynCat Ac@demy Catalysis School was held on 10th March 2017, at the SynCat@Beijing Research Institute. This third installment of the series of Catalysis School workshops continues the ongoing effort of SynCat@Beijing to be not just a centre of expertise in catalysis research, materials science and surface chemistry, but also an excellent centre for graduate students and budding scientists to be grounded in the basic concepts of what is catalysis and their...Published on: March 16, 2017
On Thursday January 26, right after the successful Faraday Discussion Conference in Capetown, the South African Center of Excellence c*change and Syngaschem BV hosted a scientific leadership course at the University of Capetown for about 45 participants. In a session of 3.5 hours, Graham Hutchings, Jan-Karel Felderhof and Hans Niemantsverdriet spoke about the essentials of leading an academic research group.
Graham presented several examples of famous scientists, and discussed whether they...Published on: February 21, 2017
December 12, 2016. Synfuels China is presently commissioning the largest single coal-to-liquids plant in the world, at the Shenhua Ningmei 4 Mega ton / year (ca 100.000 barrels per day) Coal to Liquids Project, located in the Coal Chemical Industry Park of Ningdong Energy, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The project uses Synfuels China’s iron-based, medium temperature Fischer-Tropsch technology. According to the Synfuels China’s website, this project, owned by Shenhua Ningxia Coal...Published on: December 12, 2016
On Friday, October 21, 2016, Hans Niemantsverdriet received an honorary adjunct professorship from Jiangsu University in Zhenjiang (Jiangsu Province), in a small but dignified academic ceremony (see photo). The title, which is essentially valid for life, allows him to teach at the university and perform research at the School of Materials Science and Engineering, however, without obligation to do so. The appointment is an initiative of its professor Songjun Li, President of the Chinese...Published on: October 24, 2016
September 22, 2016. Foteini Sapountzi, together with Jose Gracia from SynCat@Beijing, and the colleagues from Syngaschem in The Netherlands have published a comprehensive and voluminous review about electrocatalysts for the splitting of water. They discuss electrolysis under alkaline and acid conditions, and at various temperatures, and provide an overview of established and promising new catalysts, plus an assessment of application potential and challenges for further development. The paper...Published on: September 26, 2016
September 2016. Fluidprocessing Benelux, a Dutch-language technology magazine, has published an article titled “Gasoline and Diesel from CO2 and Water – Turning solar and wind-energie into liquid fuels” (own translation) reporting on the industrial private partnership between DIFFER, TU Eindhoven, and Syngaschem BV. Therein, Kees-Jan Westrate (Syngaschem BV) and Richard van de Sanden (Director DIFFER) put the fundamental approach of the various projects into the context of transforming...Published on: September 26, 2016
Former Syngaschem scientists Jose Gracia, Gilbère Mannie and Ajin Cheruvathur, now at SynCat@Beijing, represented Syngaschem BV at an international forum on low-carbon development. This congress was held recently (September 7-9) in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, with the aim of sharing ideas about low-carbon development between participants from all over the world.
Some 200+ representatives from 30 countries attended, among whom CEOs/Vice Presidents of major players in this field, and also...Published on: September 26, 2016
Electrolysis of water to form H2 and O2 is an increasingly important process in technology for the storage of renewable electricity in synthetic fuels. Formation of oxygen is invariably the slow step and mechanistically much more difficult than H2 evolution. The difference is certainly due to involvement of 4 electrons in the reaction, but there is another reason, associated with a particular property of O2, that seems to have been largely overlooked in the electrochemistry community, namely...Published on: August 26, 2016
On July 10, 2016, Mark Koelen, amateur cyclist and charity fundraiser from Eindhoven, The Netherlands, has completed a heroic bicycle tour through the America’s to Rio de Janeiro, which took him over 10 months and 21.950 km. Mark was warmly welcomed by his friends from Estrela da Favela, a Dutch-Brazilian project advancing education and sports in the slums Rio.
Syngaschem BV had regularly supported his journey and his project. As announced, Mark arrived in Rio ahead of the Olympic’s...Published on: August 8, 2016
On July 3-8, 2016, the International Conference on Catalysis, ICC-2016, was held in Beijing. Kees-Jan Weststrate presented his recent work on the mechanism of the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis for a large audience of at least 350. The Fischer-Tropsch sessions, which extended over 1.5 day, were one of the highlights of this conference, with all the major international research groups in this area appearing in the program. The ICC-2016 was held in the Chinese National Conference Center at the...Published on: July 13, 2016
On Friday June 24, Justin ('Judd') Swift, Chief Executive Officer of Synfuels Americas in Washington, visited us at the DIFFER Institute. Like Syngaschem, Synfuels Americas is a daughter company of Synfuels China Technology. It was founded as a US small/medium enterprise, to promote research and business development on the basis of Synfuels' CTL and GTL technologies.
Mr Swift came to learn about the activities of the DIFFER Institute, and in particular of SynCat@DIFFER, and to explore...Published on: June 27, 2016
Since 2010, the website CatalysisCourse.Com has presented several video introductions to catalysis and catalyst characterization, while a separate section, sponsored by the Journal of Catalysis, offers videos on how to present science, in articles, posters and oral presentations. Lecturers are Hans Niemantsverdriet and Roel Prins (writing articles). The site, hosted by the Eindhoven University of Technology, has attracted much interest from all over the world, and on high days there were...Published on: April 30, 2016
April 6, 2016. DIFFER, Eindhoven University of Technology and Syngaschem BV obtain funding to start an Industrial Partnership Programme on Power-to-Liquids Research in the joint laboratory SynCat@DIFFER at Eindhoven.
Richard van de Sanden (Director DIFFER), Erwin Kessels (Professor of Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology) and Kees-Jan Weststrate (Syngaschem BV) have been granted a substantial subsidy to make liquid fuels from green electricity, water and carbon dioxide. They will work...Published on: April 7, 2016
February 25, 2016. Syngaschem BV is proud to officially announce its participation in the CritCat consortium, titled “Towards Replacement of Critical Catalyst Materials by Improved Nanoparticle Control and Rational Design” as the European Commission has set its signature under a grant agreement in the framework of the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. In the next three years, Syngaschem BV will receive half a million Euro out of a total amount of 4.3...Published on: March 1, 2016
February 4, 2016. Precisely one month ago, Syngaschem BV moved its Headquarter to the new building of the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology. There, Syngaschem’s staff has started to build up its new lab, called SynCat@DIFFER, which will be dedicated to fundamental research on the use of synthesis gas (CO + H2) as an intermediate step in storing green electricity as clean synthetic fuels.
SynCat@Beijing has been founded to serve as an international institute on research, with a focus on the fundamental sciences behind coal-to-liquids technology (CTL). However, SynCat@Beijing wants to be more than a research institute alone. With the SynCat Ac@demy it wants to position itself as a knowledge and expertise centre in the supporting disciplines of our research interests, which regularly organizes short courses on catalysis, surface chemistry and materials science at the...Published on: October 29, 2015
Huairou/ Eindhoven, October 19. Syngaschem BV has launched a new website providing comprehensive information about the SynCat Academy’s Scientific Leadership training program. Prof. Niemantsverdriet used the Syncat Academy’s 1st course in fundamental catalysis and surface science as stage in Huairou to shortly present www.scientificleaders.com to its attendees – namely scientists from Syncat@Beijing, Synfuels China, and various Chinese Universities.
Supporting its scientists in...Published on: October 19, 2015
September 8, 2015. Syngaschem BV has signed a contract with DIFFER, the Dutch Institiute For Fundamental Energy Research: From January onwards, Syngaschem will be officially housed in the new DIFFER-Building on the TU/e Science Park in Eindhoven. Next to an office suitable for a staff of five, it will use a laboratory of 50m2 for its research on catalysis and surface science, which will become known as SynCat@DIFFER.
This agreement comes forth from a Memorandum of Understanding signed by...Published on: September 18, 2015
On June 11, Prof Roald Hoffmann, winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, visited Synfuels China and SynCat@Beijing. Prof Hoffmann is the previous supervisor of SynCat’s Deputy Director, Xiaodong Wen, who spent several years at Cornell University as a postdoctoral fellow.
During his short tour at SynCat, Prof Hoffmann showed considerable interest in the STM equipment, and in the educational program at SynCat. He took ample time to meet the staff and take a joint group photo in the...Published on: June 16, 2015
May 13, 2013. Around the end of April 2015, all furniture for SynCat@Beijing has been delivered, and the staff has started to use the building on a daily basis.
All employees now have one or two desks available, there are several meeting rooms, and even a large class room, with a capacity of about 80 seats. Wifi is available throughout the building, while every desk offers a cable connection as well.
Unfortunately, stabilized power for laboratory equipment is still to be provided by the...Published on: May 13, 2015
April 24, 2015, Amsterdam. Triggered by the Press Release about collaboration, the Amsterdam-based Business News Radio (BNR) invited Syngaschem BV and DIFFER for an interview in their weekly program on sustainability.
Science and Technology journalist Mark Beekhuis wanted to know how syngas can help to reach a truly sustainable society based on green electricity. Indeed, the route from solar or wind electricty, via electrolysis of water combined with CO2 from power stations and heavy industry...Published on: May 12, 2015
April 16, 2015, Eindhoven. Syngaschem BV made an important step towards its future, by signing an agreement with the new Eindhoven-based DIFFER Institute, the Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research. The latter just opened a brand-new building at the TU/e campus, where Syngaschem BV will be housed at the end of this year.
Syngaschem, Synfuels China and DIFFER have a common interest in the use of syngas for the storage of electricity in synthetic fuels, as a contribution to a...Published on: April 17, 2015
March 29 to April 1, 2015, Cape Town. The second Syngas Convention, organized by the c*change catalysis network of South Africa, was held at the exquisite Vineyard Hotel, and was well attended by some 125 syngas experts from all over the world. The program featured not only many contributions from the Fischer-Tropsch area, but also on the topic of chemicals from syngas. During the conference, two heroes from the field were honoured for their eminent contributions: Professors Hans Schulz and...Published on: April 16, 2015
March 17, 2015, Huairou. The first surface science measurements were performed in the new SynCat@Beijing lab, using the new combined near-ambient pressure in situ XPS and the near-ambient pressure SPM (NAP-XPS/SPM) set-up from SPECS Surface Nano Analysis.
SPECS engineers led by Dr David Schuhmacher demonstrated the performance of the equipment using a sample of graphene on Ru(0001). They obtained excellent results during the STM experiments.
SPECS combined NAP-XPS and NAP-SPM in the surface...Published on: March 20, 2015
February 14, 2015. In a short note on Research Gate, entitled “The Force Driving the Research on Energy - Reminding: we are working for future by using funding from current activities”, Professor Yong-wang Li sets out his ideas on finding solutions for sustainable energy. Research in this area threatens to become under pressure in the current temporary economic climate of abundant cheap oil.
January 30, 2015. The new SynCat@Beijing laboratory has been delivered and is available for installation of instrumentation and furniture. As the scientific staff already could see during their visit in October 2014, SynCat@BJ is a fantastic building, with ample space, and lots of daylight throughout the entire building. Although still mostly empty for another 1-2 months, some surface science instruments are already being installed, namely a large STM- in situ XPS combination, and a routine...Published on: February 2, 2015
January 30, 2015. Professors Yong-Wang Li and Hans Niemantsverdriet signed a contract at Synfuels’ Headquarters in Huairou to extend their collaboration until the end of 2020. This will enable Syngaschem BV to continue and even expand its research activities in The Netherlands. The research will be in close collaboration with the SynCat@BJ laboratory, and will focus on the elementary surface chemistry of catalytic reaction steps.
In addition, Syngaschem will continue to support the...Published on: February 2, 2015
October 20-25, 2014. All staff and several guests met at the SynCat@Beijing Workshop in Huairou near Beijing. Synfuels China hosted the workshop in their headquarters, which enabled us to see the nearby SynCat@Beijing building. As it is close to completion now, an important aim of the workshop was to devise plans for the individual laboratories and infrastructure, and to work on the Research Program.
On the left: Impressions from the lab tour; On the right: The future management team of...Published on: December 2, 2014
Gilbère Mannie, working for Syngaschem BV in the iNano Group of Professor Jeppe Lauritsen in Aarhus University, Denmark, found a novel way to study atomic details of iron carbide surfaces by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Starting from a gold single-crystal surface, a time-tested convenient and chemically inert platform, he evaporates thin films of iron, which he then converts into carbides by exposing them to ethylene gas. The figure shows the...Published on: September 3, 2014
May 26-28, 2014. Syngaschem BV has organized a workshop together with its partner, Synfuels China at ‘Het Boordhuys’ in Nuenen, The Netherlands, hosting around 25 people. The coming staff of SynCat@Beijing was present as well as Syngaschem’s Advisory Board, a delegation of Synfuels China. Various guests and collaborators participated as well.
A team of authors from Sasol Technology and Eindhoven University of Technology has recently published a lengthy and informative review on Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, with among others descriptions of the process, and the preparation and characterization of cobalt and iron catalysts.
Fischer–Tropsch Synthesis: Catalysts and Chemistry; van de Loosdrecht J., Botes F.G., Ciobica I.M., Ferreira A., Gibson P., Moodley D.J., Saib A.M., Visagie J.L., Weststrate C.J. and...Published on: February 24, 2014
June 2-3, 2014. The Nordic Surface Science and Catalysis meeting (NORDFORSK) takes place in Tromsø, Norway. Syngaschem BV will sponsor this event. Syngaschem’s Dr. Gilbère Mannie will present results from his work at the iNANO in Aarhus and is available for general information on job opportunities.Published on: February 24, 2014
March 10-12, 2014. The XVth Netherlands’ Catalysis and Chemistry Conference (NCCC XV) takes place at Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands. Syngaschem BV will be present at the Career Development & Opportunities (CDO) session. There, interested scientists are kindly invited to engage in a personal conversion with members of our staff, namely Dr. Gilbère Mannie, Dr. Ajin Cheruvathur, and Office Manager Antonio Vaccaro.Published on: February 24, 2014
January 13-15, 2014. Synfuels China hosts a delegation of Syngaschem BV as well as further applicants for research scientist positions. Three new employees-to-be are recruited.
During an internal meeting, Syngaschem BV and Synfuels China Co LTD decide to brand the new research laboratory in China as SynCat@Beijing. Its official title will be ‘The Synfuels China Laboratory for Fundamental Catalysis’, and its motto ‘Science & Technology for Clean Fuels from Coal’.
Published on: February 24, 2014
November 20-22, 2013. Syngaschem BV has organized a workshop at Eindhoven and Nuenen, hosting as much as eleven applicants for junior and senior Research Scientist positions as well as a delegation of Synfuels China. In an open, symposium-like atmosphere Prof. Niemantsverdriet elaborates on the research strategy of Syngaschem and Mr. Felderhof on Syngaschem’s ideas on personal development, while the applicants present highlights of their scientific career. At least four scientist could be...Published on: February 24, 2014
October 4, 2013. Syngaschem BV and the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center at Aarhus University in Denmark sign a contract for collaborative research in the field of catalysis. For more than a year, Syngaschem's Dr Gilbere Mannie will perform scanning tunnelling microscopy studies on iron thin-film systems that serve as model systems for iron Fischer-Tropsch catalysts, under the skilled guidance of iNano's professor dr Jeppe Vang Lauritsen.Published on: February 24, 2014
June 2013. The 2nd EuroTech – NIOK Summer School “Catalysis for Sustainability” takes place in Rolduc Abbey, Kerkrade, The Netherlands. This event is sponsored by Syngaschem. During this event, topics as solar fuels and Fischer-Tropsch-Synthesis are presented by high profile key note lecturers, such as Prof. Rostrup-Nielsen and many others. Prof. Niemantsverdriet gives a workshop in 'Writing Articles', which will be also integrated into Syngaschem's Scientific Leadership Program.Published on: February 24, 2014
June 2013. Syngaschem BV is proud to announce the signing of a contract with CTL-technology leader Synfuels China from Beijing. The collaboration concerns a new laboratory in Beijing for a research program on the fundamentals of Fischer-Tropsch catalysts for CTL processes. The program will be based on surface science, molecular modeling, and in situ studies of model systems for iron-based Fischer-Tropsch catalysts, and will be under the direction of Profs Yong-Wang Li and Hans...Published on: February 24, 2014