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Alessandro Fortunelli

Title of the PhD project:
Catalysts design by predictive modelling of Electrolysers - Anion Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysis (AEMWE).

Abstract of the PhD project:
Water electrolysis is an established method to produce hydrogen from the renewable energy sources. The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) are the two important processes that are involved in electrochemical water splitting process that, in case of large-scale, is greatly hindered by the sluggish anodic OER. Even with state-of-the-art precious catalysts (i.e. RuO2 and IrO2) a substantial over-potential is required to drive the OER. Anion exchange membrane water electrolysis (AEMWE) has been developed in recent years as an alternative method to commercially known proton-exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis and alkaline water electrolysis. AEMWE has several advantages such as the use of non-noble metals as catalysts, low ohmic resistance, and good gas separation characteristics of membrane electrolyte. The development and modeling of efficient, abundant and inexpensive OER catalysts is a task worth pursuing. Fe, Co, and/or Ni (iron triad) oxides are chemically stable in alkaline media and they show a relatively comparable OER performance to the Ru and Ir oxides. Furthermore, the combination of these metals to obtain bimetallic catalysts such as CoFe or NiFe have demonstrate to be highly active and stable for this electrochemical reaction. The OER in an AEM water electrolysis allows to test bimetallic electrocatalysts in alkaline electrolytes by examining their stability at high potentials.

• Ö. N. Avcı, S. Catak, B. Dereli, V. Aviyente, B. Dedeoglu. “Elucidation of the Mechanism of Silver-Catalyzed Inverse Electron Demand Diels-Alder Reaction of 1,2 Diazines and Siloxy Alkynes” ChemCatChem. 2019, DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201901525
• F.Lafzi, H. Kilic, G. Tanriver, Ö. N. Avcı, S. Catak, N. Saracoglu. “Design and Synthesis of Novel Indoline-(thio)urea Hybrids”. Synthetic Communications. 2019, 49(24), 3510-3527, DOI: 10.1080/00397911.2019.1675706

Oral communications at conferences:

Poster communications at conferences:
• Ö. N. Avcı, M. Pastore, A. Monari, S. Catak. “Computational Study of Ruthenium Based Water Oxidation Catalysts” , 12th Chemical Physics Congress , October 12-13, 2018 Safranbolu, Turkey
• Ö. N. Avcı, D. Hertsen, B. Denoo, V. Van Speybroeck, J. M. Winne, S. Catak. “Selectivity in (4+3) Cycloadditions of Furfuryl Cations”, ViA Computation: Applications on Molecular Nanoscience, October 30, 2017 Istanbul, Turkey

Other achievements: