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Damien Debecker

I am a Professor at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain), in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. I am teaching physical chemistry, process engineering, bio-refining, waste treatment technologies. I am doing research in the field of “catalytic processes for more sustainable chemical processes”. More precisely, we use heterogeneous catalysts (and sometimes immobilized enzymes) to perform chemical reactions and design chemical processes in a greener way.

I am a Bio-engineer in chemistry by training. I did my PhD in heterogeneous catalysis at UCLouvain (with Prof. Eric Gaigneaux). After a post-doctoal stay at the Collège de France, Paris (with Prof. Clément Sanchez, materials chemistry) and a post-doctoral stay at the University of Manchester, UK (with Prof. Nicholas Turner, biocatalysis) I settled in UCLouvain where I started my own research group.

My lab is active in inorganic chemistry and materials science (as it is crucial to develop new catalysts) and in solid state characterization (as it is crucial to understand and optimize them). We also work on harnessing the power of enzymes in the field of heterogeneous (bio)catalysis. We are looking specifically at processes with high environmental impact: biomass upgrading to chemicals and fuels (e.g. dehydration of bio-alohols), chemical transformation of CO2 (e.g. methanation), degradation of pollutants (e.g. dioxins), intensified organic synthesis (using enzymes), etc.

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