Centre for Environmental and Energy Research - Staff Expertise

The CEER is organized into three research groups and three lines of research leading by three GUCG Professors: Serge Zhuiykov, Philippe M. Heynderickx and Francis Verpoort. The groups are made up of a coordinator and researchers, organized according to each researcher's area of expertise.

CEER uses the outcomes of its research activities to function as an information repository (in terms of gathering, collating, packaging and disseminating information); as a research and training center (in terms of organizing training sessions and seminars) and as an educational center of GUGC (knowledge developed from the activities of the CEER are fed back into development of modern academic programs of GUGC).

Prof. Serge Zhuiykov has a strong background in materials science and nanotechnology of semiconductors as well as in physical chemistry of thin films and nano-interfaces.

The expertise of Prof. Philippe M. Heynderickx is modeling of chemical and physical processes and mathematical treatment of experimental data. His field mainly focuses on heterogeneous catalysis, kinetics, modeling and characterization of catalyst materials.

Prof. Francis Verpoort is an expert in the research of the structure and mechanisms in organometallic material chemistry, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts, MOFs, water splitting, olefin metathesis and its applications, CO2 conversion, inorganic and organic polymers.

These group leaders are working on following research directions:

Prof. Serge Zhuiykov

  • Development of two-dimensional (2D) WO3 and TiO2 nanocrystals with unique physical and chemical properties, which will distinguish these nanomaterials from other semiconductors.
  • Enhance surface functionalization of the developed 2D WO3 and TiO2 by means of intercalation.
  • Tailoring the desired properties of 2D WO3 and TiO2 to the requirements of various environmental applications such as environmental sensors, catalysis and energy storage applications.
  • Visibility study of the combining 2D WO3 and 2D TiO2 with other 2D nanomaterials such as graphene, MoS2, MoO3, MOFs and others into new 3D nanostructures, which can be treated and new structural blocks for advanced functional devices.

The long-term strategy is the development of library of 2D nanocrystals with accurately tailored properties for different environmental practices and purposes.

Prof. Philippe M. Heynderickx

  • Modeling of laboratory data for the prediction of catalyst material behavior with respect to conversion and selectivities (e.g. transesterification and oxidation reactions on MOFs and exploration of industrial relevant reactions using nanomaterials).
  • Implementation of computer codes, using the intrinsic kinetics from laboratory data, predicting catalytic processes on pilot scale as well as full industrial scale, including transport phenomena).
  • Modelling of physical and chemical processes from engineering point of view: towards a better understanding going back to the fundamental basics.

The long-term strategy is the development, construction and implementation of intrinsic kinetic models describing catalytic reactions for daily relevant applications. Especially environmental applications in ‘green chemistry’ conversion, environmental sensors, catalysis and energy storage applications are envisaged.

Prof. Francis Verpoort

  • Development and evaluation of nano-materials (e.g., metal-organic frameworks or MOFs) for the separation and storage of gases.
  • Evaluation the storage capacity and selectivity of MOF materials for the incorporation in industrial processes.
  • Evaluation of the MOFs as catalysts for the production of fine chemicals. The expected outcome is to provide companies with solutions for gas storage, purification and catalysis for fine chemicals.

The long-term strategy is the development of high performance MOFs for the biogas upgrading and specific catalytic CO2 conversion next to the development of thin layered MOF devices having applications as sensors for environmental issues.