Name researcher

Host institution

Academic promoter

Academic promoter

Foteini Lappa 

ULiège/KULeuven (joint PhD)

Prof. Grégoire Léonard (ULiège)

Prof. Michiel Dusselier (KULeuven)


CCU routes: Experimental study of catalysts and process designs for chemical synthesis using H2 and CO2

Foteini Lappa photo_edited_edited.jpg

Hydrogen is needed to produce synthetic fuels based on captured CO2, and they can react in different ways. This PhD will focus on developing catalysts and processes for the direct reaction of CO2 and H2.

Next to biomass, CO2 from industrial processes (short to middle term) or from the air (middle to long term) can be a valuable resource. However, it is difficult to react due to thermodynamic considerations. Reactions with hydrogen offer a way out, since the energy is carried in the molecule.


The goal of the present research is two-fold:

  1. to develop hybrid solid catalysts where CO2 activation with H2 happens on a reducible oxide surface

  2. to set-up an experimental laboratory for the study of CO2 reuse reactions that imply hydrogen to added value bulk chemicals, such as methanol, olefins, dimethylether or Fischer-Tropsch fuels. The platform would explore different reactor configurations while testing various catalysts.

The ultimate goal of this research is to tackle the challenges associated with a whole range of reactions that were historically based on syngas (CO and H2) and that now want to use CO2 for producing value-added chemicals (fuels, methanol, DME, olefines). As a consequence, this PhD thesis will focus on the optimization of catalyst and process designs that are needed for efficient and sustainable CCU routes.


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