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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Davide Ansovini

SMMI PhD in Sustainable Catalysis for Renewable Marine Energy

Davide Ansovini's Photo

Hi, I'm Davide Ansovini and I studied within Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute at the University of Southampton.

I am a first year PhD student working under the joint supervision of Dr Robert Raja (Chemistry), Prof Ajit Shenoi (Engineering) and Prof Andy Hor Tzi Sum (A*STAR Singapore). Given the multidisciplinary nature of my project, I am interested in developing cross-faculty collaborations with Chemistry and SMMI; and the involvement of an overseas partner is aimed at strengthening international research objectives associated with this project.

I am a first year PhD student working under the joint supervision of Dr. Robert Raja (Chemistry), Prof. Ajit Shenoi (Engineering) and Prof. Andy Hor Tzi Sum (A*STAR Singapore). I obtained a Master Degree in Process Chemical Engineering at the University of L’Aquila (Italy), graduating with an overall mark 110/110 cum laude (first class honours). When I was a Chemical Engineering student, I worked on several projects related to catalysis, reactor modelling and chemical plant simulation and design. Given the multidisciplinary nature of my project, I am interested in developing cross-faculty collaborations with Chemistry and SMMI; and the involvement of an overseas partner is aimed at strengthening international research objectives associated with this project.


The principal aim of this PhD project, in collaboration with SMMI and A*STAR (Singapore), is to design and optimize the development of novel photocatalysts for exploiting their potential in several possible applications: such as water-splitting for hydrogen production, carbon dioxide reduction, and marine exhaust gas cleaning technologies (e.g.. SCR for NOx removal), through the utilization of solar energy. In particular, I would like to explore the development of sustainable marine technologies that mitigate fossil fuel generation and some of the core themes that I would like to address are: carbon capture from the exhaust-cleaned gas, photo-thermal reduction to CO, hydrogen generation through photocatalytic water splitting, diesel production through Fischer Tropsch synthesis. Chemistry underpins a fundamental role in the engineering and functionalization of these “novel” and “promising” catalysts. The challenge is to develop a versatile class of materials capable of operating in different processes conditions, maximizing the solar spectrum utilization and minimizing the catalyst-production costs (noble metal-free).

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