Marc Koper wins Brian Conway Prize 2016 for electrochemistry
Marc Koper, Professor of Catalysis and surface chemistry, has won the Brian Conway Prize for Physical Electrochemistry of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE). The ISE jury chose Koper as the winner due to his outstanding contributions in the field of physical electrochemistry.
Koper regarding his prize: 'I think one of the main reasons why I was selected is the combination of theory and experiment that I use. This is in line with Brian Conway's research tradition.' Brian Conway, a British-Canadian electrochemist, is seen as one of the founders of physical electrochemistry.
Energy from sunlight
One of the main research themes of Koper and his team is the shift from fossil fuels to clean electrical energy. They investigate ways to store energy from sunlight into water. The hydrogen that is formed in this process can then be used as a fuel. This is already possible, but with one main disadvantage: 'The problem is that these techniques are still too expensive', says Marc Koper. With his research Koper tries to better understand the chemical reactions, in order to find affordable solutions.
Koper’s scope not only focuses on hydrogen. The greenhouse gas CO2 forms an interesting opportunity for renewable energy as well. ‘The problem with hydrogen is that it is a gas, and difficult to store’, says Koper. He explores ways to convert CO2 into a liquid fuel using chemical reactions. In this way CO2 is recycled, just as in nature.
In the past, Koper won the Hellmuth Fischer Medal 2012 of the German Society for Chemical Technology (DECHEMA) and the Carl Wagner Memorial Award 2013 of the Electrochemical Society. In honor of his Brian Conway Prize, Koper will give a lecture about his main findings during the annual ISE meeting in America in 2017.