Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research

Research Group: Non-equilibrium Fuel Conversion DIFFER
Host institution: Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER)
Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Involved Persons: Gerard van Rooij (ESR 3 and 12)

General description: DIFFER is the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, with the mission to perform leading fundamental research on materials, processes and systems for a global sustainable energy infrastructure, in close partnership with (inter)national academia and industry.

The Non-equilibrium Fuel Conversion group performs fundamental research to enable flexible and efficient transformative technologies for future energy systems  by exploiting the non-equilibrium properties of plasma discharges. The group is part of DIFFER’s Solar Fuels department. Research within the Solar Fuels department is driven by the need for cost-effective and energy-efficient production of sustainable fuels and products through the use of abundantly available materials. In particular, DIFFER investigates using renewable energy, either directly or indirectly via electricity, for splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen, and the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide, as an important starting point for the synthesis of CO2-neutral chemical fuels. The research involves the synthesis and design of novel materials and processes to obtain scalable, efficient and cost-effective systems. The concrete research areas are non-thermal chemical processes, functional materials and interfaces and light-matter interaction.

Gerard van Rooij is head of the Non-equilibrium Fuel Conversion group and full professor in Sustainable Plasma Chemistry at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He has experience in plasma studies and technologies applied in and designed for both the DIFFER research themes nuclear fusion and solar fuels. Gerard has pioneered the scientific basis of the unique devices for plasma surface interaction studies within DIFFER and participated in the research programmes of the major international facilities for fusion research to study the role of plasma chemistry therein. Since 2012, he is leading fundamental solar fuels research on plasma activation of chemical reactions in a sustainability context: as storage of sustainable energy for its integration in other sectors such as transport and chemical industry. He published in total over 120 publications and has an h-index of 32. He has (co-)supervised 13 PhD theses.

Representative Publications: