What metals do you use in your research?
At the moment, in my research group, we work mainly with precious metals, because they have a good yield of sometimes 90 to 100%. I myself only use gold. One of the reasons for this is that it remains a constant factor in my research, while I vary other factors.
What are your goals in your research?
Ultimately we want to imitate natural systems for the generation of energy. Nature uses cheap metals like iron, instead of gold, for energy storage. So in the long run I have to use other metals than gold. Moreover, enzymes are capable of carrying out a wide range of reactions. Apart from CO2 they can also convert O2 and N2 into useful products, for example. Those are also interesting things to research.
What does your lab look like?
I work in both so-called ‘wet labs’ and ‘dry labs’. In the wet labs I make my samples for the experiments. By mixing ingredients we can synthesise new molecules. We then analyse these new molecules in the dry lab, which we also call process labs. Here we can regulate conditions such as pressure and temperature to look at their effect on the performance of the reactor. This analysis is also very important.