Jeroen Smaak

Jeroen Smaak

PhD candidate
Leiden University

Jeroen Smaak


Catalysis and Surface Science

Contact information

Gorlaeus laboratorium

Email address

Key expertises

Electrochemistry / Electrocatalysis / Cyclic voltammetry / Aprotic solvents / CO2 reduction

About me

I’ve started my bachelor biobased technology at Avans university of applied sciences in Breda. Here I did two 6-month internships. One on coatings at TNO and I graduated on enzymatic conversion of starch to soluble fibers at ADM. I continued with the master energy and sustainability at Leiden University. During the master, I did 4 months research on single-molecule protein characterisation with solid-state nanopores at Delft University and I studied the temperature effects on CO2 reduction at Leiden for 7 months. Outside the lab, I like to go bouldering, raving, and sailing.

About my research

The research focuses on electrochemical CO2 reduction to oxalate in aprotic solvents using different metals. We try to understand the reaction mechanisms and influential parameters. From literature it is well known that water is detrimental to oxalate synthesis from CO2. Therefore, my research will involve reactions in organic solvents, which is interesting because the majority of electrochemical research is conducted in water. Electrochemistry is a field that interested me during my master's at Leiden. I approach this project with a special interest in electrosynthesis. Ideally, I learn and discover more about the subject during my Ph.D. I anticipate contributing not only to the scientific understanding of electrosynthesis but also addressing industry challenges.