Research: Production of fuels and industrial products of interest through photocatalytic reduction of CO2; Hydrogen production by water photo-splitting and fossil fuels decarbonisation.
Short Bio: Víctor A. de la Peña is the Head of the Unit of photoactivated processes of IMDEA Energy. He got his master degree in physical chemistry from Autónoma University of Madrid (Spain) in 2000, working on the development of theoretical studies of the photophysical behaviour of molecular dye sensitizers. He obtained his PhD (2003) at Catalysis and Petrochemistry Institute working on the preparation, characterization and testing of cobalt and iron supported catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. After his PhD he worked on several projects, all of them revolving around the two main research lines: Theoretical studies applied to catalysis; and VOCs elimination processes. In 2004, he was awarded a Juan de la Cierva fellowship at the Barcelona University (UB) as a research fellow to develop catalysts for the selective transformation of biomass derived products into H2. During his stay in UB he got the grade on MSc in Physics. Since 2008 he was developing his scientific career at the IMDEA Energy Institute and during these years he has been awarded with a Ramon y Cajal (RYC-2008-02069). His research interest is focused on heterogeneous catalysis, theoretical chemistry, in-situ characterization and reactor design and built-up applied to energy and environmental technologies such as CO2 uses and artificial photosynthesis, sustainable fuels production and energy storage. He is co-author of more than 91 achieving a h-index of 33 with more than 2520 citations. He is co-author of 4 book chapters and 3 patents. He has participated in more than 100 conference communications with 15 invited talks. During the last years he has participated in about 30 projects funded by Regional, National, European programs and Private sector acting as Principal Investigator in 15 of them. including those funded by: Madrid Regional Government FotoArt-CM: New generation of multifunctional materials for artificial photosynthesis (P2018/NMT-4367); the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology though the National Excellence Program (FOTOVALVO2 (ENE2009-09432), HybridLeaf (CTQ2014-51487-ERC), Solar Fuels (ENE2014-55071-JIN, as supervisor) and Ra-Phuel (ENE2016-79608-C1-2-R). She is also PI of the following Excellence Networks funded by the Spanish Government; FOTOFUEL New Challenges in the Solar Fuels production (ENE2016-82025-REDT). In 2015 she was awarded with a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant given by the European Research Council (ERC) to develop Hybrid Multifunctional materials for artificial photosynthesis (HyMAP project, Ref: 648319). He is the Spanish node in one of the six approved European CSA-FETFLAG H2020 project (SUNRISE project, Ref: 816336). He is also PI of a project awarded by the Ramon Areces Foundation (Art-LEAF) and several contracts with chemical and energy companies such as Repsol, Abengoa, Acciona, and Gas Natural, among others. During her career she has supervised more than 14 post-doctoral researchers and directed or codirected 1 PhD Thesis already defended and 6 more are currently being developed under her supervision. Currently, he is the chair of the CO2 uses Group in the Spanish technological platform of CO2 (PTECO2), leader of the Inter-Platform Group of CO2 uses and coordinator of the Spanish excellence network of solar-fuels. In 2018, he received the prize of Comunidad de Madrid to the best ERC project.
His research interest is focused on different aspects of Energy production and storage technologies covering a wide range of experience on: 1) Design and synthesis of multifunctional materials, He is pioneer in the development of Hybrid systems, based on conjugated semiconductor polymers, for light driven reactions; 2) Advanced in-operando characterization combined with theoretical calculations, He is expert on on the design and built-up reaction cells for different in-situ and operando characterization techniques including synchrotron radiation (e.g. NAP-XPS, XRD, XAS...) and 3) Construction of automatized reactors form lab to pilot plant scale, covering wide range of application from heterogeneous catalysisl to solar fuels production .He got his master degree in physical chemistry from Autónoma University of Madrid (Spain) in 2000. He obtained his PhD in 2003 at Catalysis and Petrochemistry Institute under the supervision of Prof. J. L. G Fierro developing cobalt and iron catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis. After his PhD he worked on several projects, all of them revolving around the two main research lines: Theoretical studies applied to catalysis; and VOCs elimination processes. In 2004, he was awarded with a “Juan de la Cierva” fellowship at the Barcelona University as a research fellow to develop catalysts for the selective transformation of biomass-derived products into H2. Since 2009 to 2014 he was developing his scientific career as tenured track at the IMDEA Energy Institute and was awarded with a “Ramon y Cajal” fellowship. Recently, he has been honoured with an ERC-Consolidator Grant focused in the development of hybrid materials for solar fuels production. He is coordinator of the Spanish Solar Fuels Network and has participated in the on Solar Fuels Work Group (WG5) into the Mission Innovation initiative of European Commission. Furthermore, he is member of the Executive Board of the Spanish CO2 Technology Platform and member of the Editorial Board of the journals Advanced Energy and sustainability research (Willey) and Catalyst and Materials (MPDI). Recently, he has been editor of special issue of Advanced Energy Materials focused on “Recent Advances Towards Sustainable Materials and Processes for Energy Conversion and Storage”. He is co-author of more than 130 publications (h= 39), 5 book chapters, 3 patents and more than 140 contributions to scientific congresses Besides, he has participated in more than 25 research projects funded by different institutions, among which he is the principal investigator or coordinator of 17 of them including ERC-Consolidator Grant, ERC-PoC, FET-Proact, Fundación Ramón Areces and is Spanish NCP in the SUNERGY CSA Flagship initiative. Moreover, he has several contracts with chemical and energy companies such as Repsol, Abengoa, Acciona, and Daimler Mercedes, among others. Furthermore, he has supervised 14 postdoctoral researchers, 4 Ph.D. defended theses and 8 PhD under supervision. He was awarded with several prizes and recognitions, highlighting the prize of Madrid regional government to the best ERC project in 2018.
Marta Liras obtained her master degree in Chemistry Science (Organic Chemistry) by Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) in 1999 for her studies in the photoreactivity of aza-di-π-methane compounds. She obtained her PhD in 2003 in UCM for her work developed between both Instituto de Química Orgánica General (IQOG-CSIC) and Instituto Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros (ICTP-CSIC) in collaboration with Instituto de Química Física Rocasolano (IQFR-CSIC). Her thesis was about the synthesis of monomers, polymers and copolymers based on BODIPY dyes and their evaluation as solid state laser dyes. During 2004 she has a Comunidad de Madrid (CAM) postdoctoral fellow and she obtained a contract into the Juan de la Cierva Programme (2005-2007). During this step she researched about red and blue laser dyes as well as organic inorganic hybrid dyes with the aim to used them in biomedical applications. During 2008 she went to University of Ottawa (Canada) as postdoctoral fellow in the Prof. J. C. Scaiano group with a contract funded by INTEL Coorp. with the two photon process for photolithography topic and in parallel she acquired knowledge in the synthesis and characterization of luminescence nanoparticles such as quantum dot and up conversion nanoparticles. Afterward, she returned to ICTP-CSIC with a JAE-Doc contract (2010-2013). During this time she developed new strategies to the polymeric coating of several kinds of nano objects (QD´s, UCNP´s, graphene, carbon nanotubes and so on) developing new smart nanomaterials. During the last two year she has been part of the Heterogeneous Catalysis group in the IQOG-CSIC, inside Consolider Ingenio Project leadership by Prof. A. Corma, where she has use Porous Organic Polymers (POPs) such as heterogeneous photocatalyst. She is co-author of more than 55 papers, 1 invention patent and 40 contributions to scientific congress. During the last years she has participated in 16 research projects funded by several national and international institutions public and privates. She has supervised three master thesis and several undergraduate student projects.
Fernando Fresno is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Group of Photoactivated Processes at the IMDEA Energy Institute, where he is working on the development of inorganic and hybrid photocatalysts for the production of fuels from carbon dioxide and water. He has previously worked as a Research Associate and Assistant Professor the University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia, from April 2012. He has conducted postdoctoral research at the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry of the Spanish National Research Council (ICP-CSIC, Madrid), 2010-2012, and the Spanish Centre for Research on Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT, Madrid), 2007-2010. He got his PhD in Chemistry in 2006 at the Autónoma University of Madrid (UAM), Spain, in 2006, working with a national doctoral grant at the Inorganic Chemistry Department of UAM and at ICP-CSIC. He has worked as a visiting researcher in the University of Niigata (Japan), University of Aberdeen (UK) and IRCE Lyon (France). His research interests focus on photocatalytic processes for environmental and energy applications: Synthesis of new, more efficient photocatalytic materials; study of photocatalytic reactions; self-cleaning and superhydrophillic surfaces; and structure-activity relations in heterogeneous catalysts. He is currently PI of 2 funded research projects and has participated in 12 more. He has published 25 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has co-authored and co-edited the book “Design of Advanced Photocatalytic Materials for Energy and Environmental Applications” (Springer 2013, ISBN 978-1-4471-5060). He has contributed with 50 communications to national and international conferences and is co-inventor in one patent. He has acted as an expert reviewer for more than 20 scientific journals and is a member of the editorial board of ISRN Nanomaterials and Journal of Energy.
Mariam Barawi obtained the degree in Chemical Sciences from the University of Salamanca (USAL) in 2009. In the academic year 2010/2011, he completed a master's degree in Energy and Fuels for the Future at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), through which he completed a research period at CIEMAT in Madrid to obtain the final Master's work. This work was about a study of self-cleaning materials with applications in solar thermal collectors. She received shes doctorate from the UAM university in June 2015, under the PhD program "Energies and Fuels for the Future", with the thesis titled "Metal Sulphides for Energy Conversion: Synthesis, Characterization and Use in Photoelectrochemical Cells for Hydrogen Generation”. During this period, she worked on the synthesis of metal sulphides, as well as on their structural and morphological characterization through techniques such as XRD, SEM, FEG or BET. In addition, she focused on the study of electro and photoelectrochemical behavior of these materials for use as photoanodes in hydrogen photogeneration cells. During the doctoral thesis he made a research stay in Paris, France, in Equipe de Chimie Métallurgique des Terres Rares (CMTR) Institut de Chimie et des Matériaux, where she worked on the possibility of using titanium sulphides as materials for the hydrogen storage. In June of 2015 she moved to Italy (Lecce) at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) where she carried out the project called Development of colloidal metal Oxide-Based nanostructures with Tailored Crystal Structure and Geometric To be exploitable in Photoelectrochemical devices. In this period, she worked on the study of the optical, electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical properties of different transparent metal oxide nanocrystals in order to develop Smart Windows devices. These devices are capable of selectively filtering solar radiation. In January of 2017 she has joined to the photoactivated process unit of Imdea Energía to collaborate with the ERC Hymap Hybrid Materials for Artificial Photosynthesis project. She is the co-author of 17 scientific publications and has attended 8 congresses. During the last years she has participated actively in 4 research projects financed by different national and international institutions, both public and private. He has collaborated in supervising several master's degree jobs.
Freddy received his MSc in Chemistry from the Central University of Venezuela, and obtained his PhD from the University of Oxford (2012). The title of his thesis is "Electronic Structure of TiO2-based photocatalysts active under visible light irradiation". Then, he moved to Germany as a research assistant in the Department of Chemistry of Rurh University Bochum, where he worked on the development of photocatalysts for CO2 reduction. In 2013 he moved back to UK, Imperial College London, where he developed a generic approach for the preparation of single-crystalline by a low-cost wet chemistry approach in the Materials Department. In 2016, he moved to the Eindhoven University of Technology, where he worked on the setting and management of a Near-Ambient Pressure XPS facility. He has authored 27publications (h-index = 12). Freddy joined IMDEA Energy in October 2019.
Miguel Gómez Mendoza obtained his B. Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Valencia (2008). In 2013, he received his PhD in Photochemistry Organic (European Doctorate) under the guidance of Prof. Miguel Angel Miranda at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), supported by a FPU fellowship from the Spanish Government. During this time, he focused his interest in the study of the bile acids and their importance in the enterohepatic circulation. For this purpose, he prepared photoactive probes to be used in photophysical experiments, acquiring expertise in characterization of the new compounds by steady-state and time resolved fluorescence as well as laser flash photolysis. During his PhD studies, he made one short-term stay at the University of Bristol, UK (Prof. Anthony P. Davis). Later, Dr. Miguel Gómez obtained a eurotalent postdoctoral fellowship and he moved to the research group of Dr. Jean-Luc Ravanat (CEA, Grenoble). During this period, he worked on UV-induced oxidative DNA lesions, where clearly demonstrated that oxidative DNA lesions generated following exposure to UV light is mediated through a one-electron oxidation. In 2017, he joined as postdoctoral scientist to the Department of Organic Chemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid with Prof. Guillermo Orellana, supported by Explora Project from the Spanish Government, where Miguel worked on photodynamic effect for biological applications. In addition to that, he co-directed a B. Sc. in Chemistry Thesis. In November 2018, he has joined to the photoactivated process unit of Imdea Energía in the research group of Dr. Víctor de la Peña, where he is working on the photophysical properties of inorganic and hybrid photocatalysts for the production of fuels. He is author more than 10 articles scientific journals and has attended more than 10 national/international congresses.
Teresa studied her Bachelor in Chemistry at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, UCM, at Madrid (Spain). She obtained a Master degree in Organic Chemistry from the same university in 2014. She moved to IMDEA Nanoscience, where she obtained her PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2018, under the supervision of Dr. Emilio M. Pérez. She worked on the study hydrogen-bonded supramolecular architectures taken advantage of single molecule manipulation through the Optical Tweezers technique. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Photoactivated Process Unit at IMDEA Energy, thanks´ to a CAM scholarship, co-financed by the European Social Fund through the Youth Employment Operative Program and the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). Currently, May 2019, she is co-author of 7 papers in in peer-reviewed journals.
Alba García Sánchez graduated with a bachelor´s degree in Chemistry from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2014. Her Final Degree Proyect was “Development of biodegradable implants based on magnesium alloys” developed in Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering Department at UCM in collaboration with CENIM (CSIC). She owns a master degree in Applied Chemistry from Autónoma University of Madrid in 2015, with a Final Master Proyect in “Synthesis, processing and characterization of hybrids organic-inorganics electrolytes for direct alcohol fuel cells” developed in the Institute of Cerámica y Vidrio (ICV-CSIC). She has made practices in expression, purification and characterization of proteins in Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB-CSIC). Since may 2016 she is predoctoral researcher under HYMAP project.
Elena Alfonso González graduated in Chemistry from the Complutense University of Madrid in 2014. Her Bachelor thesis was “Search of high-temperature superconductors based on M-1212 structure with Ru in the charge reservoir”. She got a Master of Science degree in Advanced Spectroscopy in Chemistry from Lille and Leipzig Universities in 2016, with a Master thesis entitled “Z-scheme based photocatalytic water splitting by modification of TiO2 and Fe2O3 semiconductors with Pt and RuOx promotors”.In the professional field, she did an internship in IMDEA Energy Institute in 2015 about the characterization by DRIFTS in situ of catalysts based on TiO2 for the photorredution of CO2. She also had an internship in the CSIC Institute of Ceramics and Glass in 2013 concerning the synthesis and characterisation of thermoelectric materials.Since February 2017 she is a predoctoral researcher in the Photoactivated Processes Unit.
Alejandro García Eguizábal started studying Chemistry in Universidad de La Rioja and Queen’s University of Belfast where he graduated in 2014 with a bachelor thesis on “New dipolarophiles for the 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition”. He owns a master degree in Synthesis, Catalysis and Molecular Design from Universitat Rovira i Virgili where he joined Prof. Galán-Mascaros group in 2016 at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) first as a master intern and next as a research assistant. His master project carried out at ICIQ was about “Colbat-based Polyoxometalates as Heterogeneous Water Oxidation Electrocatalyst”. In the professional field, he worked at Exide Technologies in Azuqueca de Henares, as R&D Electrochemist on the research in new formulation for both positive and negative plates of lead-acid batteries, until 2019 when he joined the Photoactivated Processes Unit of IMDEA Energy. Since May 2019 he is working as a predoctoral researcher under the Art-Leaf project.