Minh Nguyen Quang

Hey, Guys!

     My name is Minh Nguyen-Quang and I am Vietnamese. I have been working on optimizing plasma configurations at Laboratoire de Catalyse & Spectroscopie (LCS), ENSICAEN – CNRS under supervision of Assoc.Prof.Dr. FEDERICO Azzolina-Jury as the first stage of my PhD timeline. My secondment would be in AGH University of Science and Technology which is located in Kraków, Poland with the instruction of co-supervisor, Professor. Monika MOTAK.

     Looking back to the past, I accomplished my bachelor’s degree in 2017 at Hanoi University of Science and Technology, school of Chemical engineering. My background is GTL process in which majorly focus on the conversion of gases into hydrocarbons in the presence of catalysts. Then, I had a chance studying in Germany as a Master student at amazing Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse e.V. laboratory; that was an incredibly memorable experience. We successfully modified catalyst for DeNOx reaction via discrepancy of catalytic synthesis methods.

    Moving to the new Plasma-catalysis field is not only great chance to broaden my horizons but also the biggest challenge to prove myself. It would be amazing if I can contribute my tiny research to the big picture of globally sustainable development as well as plasma field.

     This is an absolutely great opportunity for me as well as the 14 others, I believe, to become PhD in PIONEER project. I would like to give my thanks to the European commission, the MSCA and PIONEER project and all great supervisors for this reason.

Overview Pioneer
ESR: 6
Title: Efficient catalysts preparation for plasma-assisted CO2 methanation
Home Institution: Laboratoire de Catalyse & Spectroscopie (CNRS – LCS)
1st Supervisor: Federico Azzolina-Jury
Host Institution: AGH University of Science and Technology (AGH-UST)
2nd Supervisor: Monika Motak
Secondment: Sorbonne University (SU)


Chemical processing of CO2 may not only result in the production of important chemicals, but also be applied to store energy. One of such processes is CO2 methanation. Hydrogen for the reaction may be obtained from water electrolysis using off-peak, renewable or nuclear energy.  The subject of this work will be to study the reaction mechanism on new catalysts based on layered materials, such as hydrotalcites, clays etc. Hydrotalcites are especially interesting as their basicity and redox properties may be tailored through appropriate choice of preparation methods and elemental composition. Additionally, their thermal processing leads to homogenous mixture of nano-oxides with increased interaction of active material (in this case Ni) with MgO and alumina, resulting in improved stability. Hydrotalcites containing Ni, Mg and Al with varying molar ratios and promoters will be prepared by different procedures and characterized by XRD, FTIR, UV-VIS, TPR and TPD-CO2. The planned milestones of the research are: (i) Preparation, modification and characterization (texture, structure, redox and basic properties) of novel catalysts, basing on layered materials containing Ni as active component, (ii) Determination of plasma-assisted catalytic activity, selectivity and stability of the materials prepared in (i). The adsorbed species on the catalyst surface, both during adsorption or reactivity studies, will be followed by time-resolved Operando IR spectroscopy. LCS laboratory has already designed several plasma IR operando cells to this end. The catalyst wafer will be placed inside the reactor within discharge zone (plasma) perpendicularly to the IR beam. Both Glow-discharge and DBD discharge plasma assisted-cell/reactors were already conceived for mechanistic studies.

Links with other ESR

  • ESR 1, 2, 5 and 13: Influence of the layered support materials on plasma development
  • ESRs 7-10: Direct comparison of material efficiency

Expected Results

  • Preparation of novel catalyst/s for the process CO2 methanation, and/or dry reforming of methane (DRM) with special focus on layered support and tenability of basicity and redox properties
  • Tailoring of the catalyst structure, allowing increased activity, selectivity and stability
  • Selection of the conditions of catalytic (plasma-assisted) reaction
  • Determination of the reaction mechanism of the CO2 methanation and/or DRM reaction using the most efficient materials


  • AGH-UST: Training in the methods of catalysts preparation and characterization
  • SU: Comparison of conversion efficiency with standardized coupling reactor