Viktoria Holovanova

Title of the project: Development of catalysts for solar based fuels

Supervisors and Host Institution: Dra. Teresa Andreu and Prof. Joan Ramon Morante from Catalan Institute for Energy Research (IREC)

One of the main XXI century challenges concerns the progressive replacement of fossil fuels by sustainable and renewable energy sources, a transition dictated by both the rising global energy consumption and the enhanced environmental concern. On the other hand, the past century has seen a steady increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration which has manifest itself in a significant rise in the temperature of the planet. The main objective of my PhD thesis is to develop a low cost catalyst at the nanoscale for efficient biofuels production taking advantage of solar light as the green source of renewable energy. Combining thermal, electrical and photocatalytical approaches, as well as the uprising field of materials with LSPR properties, I am aiming to lower the cost of the CO2 recycling process.

“Being part of MSCA community and interacting with people from different backgrounds is the perfect opportunity for me to become an independent researcher through gaining a broad vision on the problem solutions”

I come from Odessa, a beautiful city on the shore of the Black Sea in Ukraine, where I obtained both Bachelor and Master Degrees in theoretical physics at Odessa National University. Apart from being excited about modeling and fundamental physics, I was always interested in being able to see the real application of materials science in solving of global problems. This inspired me to participate in several European projects and work in the field of gas sensing and photovoltaics. However, my attention started to be attracted by one of the most urgent issue, related to the search of renewable energy sources. For this reason, being part of the DOC-FAM program in IREC is the perfect opportunity for me to acquire knowledge and experience in catalysis, and, therefore, become an independent researcher with a broad view and critical thinking. In the long term, I hope to continue research in the cutting-edge fields of materials science and contribute to the scientific society. 

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