December 8, 2021

Esperanza Sedano Varo – ESR 12

Esperanza Sedano Varo was born in Granada (Spain) in 1996. She started her Bachelor Degree in chemistry at the University of Montpellier (2014-2016), in France, and received her bachelor diploma after spending one year at the University of Torino (2016-2017), in Italy. During this period, she started specializing in heterogeneous catalysis, picking up courses related to the field and working as an intern with zeolites. She was then accepted at the renowned French school École Normale Supérieure for her Master Degree in Material Chemistry with the Ampere excellence scholarship (2017-2019). At this stage, she wanted to contribute to the development of clean energies and carried out a 3-month internship on the synthesis and optimization of MoS2 catalysts for production of hydrogen from water electrolysis. She performed her Master Thesis project at the Technion Institute in Israel (2019) on the study of transient phenomena in photocatalytic composite materials with Step-Scan FTIR. She then came back to France to work as a Business Project Manager on the set-up of European collaborative projects during 2020.
Research Project
Testing the activity of small cluster to nanometer-sized catalyst for electrochemical CO2 reduction

My PhD will focus on testing mass-selected bi- and multimetallic clusters for electrochemical CO2 hydrogenation in aqueous electrolyte. This work includes investigating the response to changes in composition and size of the clusters, and ultimately understand how to tune the selectivity of the electrocatalysts and target high value products like ethylene and ethanol. Most of the electrochemical testing will be performed in a DTU-developed setup that couples mass spectrometry with electrochemistry, enabling the correlation of observed currents with real-time detected products. This research project will be conducted at DTU, under the supervision of Prof. Jakob Kibsgaard and Prof. Christian Danvad Damsgaard. In addition, I will further characterize the samples using techniques like SEM, XPS and in situ XAFS.