(TL;DR) We use electrochemistry for storing energy and driving the chemical industry of the future!
Marcel’s research interests center on understanding how the configuration of electrochemical interfaces control surface-chemical reactions to define the outcome of electrocatalytic transformations. His group uses this insight to extend the reaction scope of electrocatalytic transformations beyond the activation of small inorganic molecules.
Electrocatalysis provides a fascinating opportunity to interconvert electrical and chemical energy. In this regard, the Schreier group aims to extend the scope of electrochemical reactivity beyond small molecules like water and carbon dioxide. This work is driven by questions aimed at elucidating the elementary processes that take place at electrochemical interfaces, such as:
How does an electric field drive chemical conversion? At which point in a catalytic cycle is energy transferred? And how?
The Schreier group translates this fundamental understanding to open pathways to catalytic transformations that use electricity as a driving force instead of traditional fossil-based heat sources. Since most existing processes rely on hydrocarbons as feedstocks and energy carriers, our main efforts are directed towards developing the science for converting hydrocarbons using electrical energy. In doing so, we develop technologies that will open new avenues for the storage of renewable electricity and enable the electrification of the chemical industry.