Dr Klaas Jan Schouten has been appointed Research Assistant Professor in Electrocatalysis and Applied Electrochemistry at the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences of the University of Amsterdam. The position is part of UvA’s Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry and is facilitated by Avantium, the Amsterdam-based technology development company and a forerunner in renewable chemistry.
Klaas Jan Schouten is currently working at Avantium as a Program Manager, leading the electrochemistry program ‘Volta’. His work is focused on developing a technology platform that uses electrochemistry to enable new routes and processes to produce high-value products from carbon dioxide and bio-based feedstocks. Avantium enables Klaas Jan to work 20% of his time at the University of Amsterdam.
Electrochemistry will be one of the key technologies in a circular sustainable society. It will enable the use of renewable energy to directly drive chemical reactions with high efficiency and selectivity. This will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also unlock new carbon sources for the chemical industry, for example by the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide.
In this new position, Klaas Jan Schouten will focus his research on understanding current electrocatalytic systems and making the translation to new processes with high application potential. Klaas Jan will look into unlocking new carbon sources for the chemical industry, such as bio-based feedstocks and carbon dioxide. He will explore large scale energy storage in chemical bonds, which will be crucial in a future society that is fully based on renewable energy. His research will be done in close collaboration with companies. A strong collaboration between the university and companies will accelerate the development of new applications: it connects industry to fundamental research and enables the transition to new products and processes.
Besides research, Klaas Jan will also contribute to teaching the principles of electrochemistry in the context of new application development, and strengthen the research community on electrochemistry in Amsterdam by further shaping the Amsterdam Centre for Electrochemistry.
Dr Klaas Jan Schouten obtained his MSc Cum Laude in 2009 from Leiden University, after which he continued with Prof. Marc Koper for a PhD project on electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction. His thesis has been awarded the Dutch Catalysis Society Award 2015 and the European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS) Best PhD Thesis Award 2015. After obtaining his PhD in 2013, Klaas Jan started working at Avantium, introducing electrochemistry into the company.
The UvA's Faculty of Science supports excellent research in all basic disciplines of the sciences. It is organized in eight research institutes, one of which is the Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS). This institute comprises most of the chemical research in the faculty, focusing on four research themes with strong interactions: Sustainable Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Molecular Photonics. Scientists from the four themes work together in the Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry. The position of Klaas Jan Schouten is in the Heterogeneous Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry group, working closely together with Dr Ning Yan and Prof. Gadi Rothenberg.
Avantium is a leading technology development company and a forerunner in renewable chemistry. Avantium develops technologies based on renewable carbon sources as an alternative to fossil-based chemicals and plastics.