5 Apr 2024

Meet the WISE Fellows

Paula Sebastian Pasqual: a material scientist passionate about developing copper catalysts for electrochemical CO2 reduction.

In this series of interviews, you will meet the WISE Fellows. This time you will meet Paula Sebastian Pasqual, who has joined KTH Royal Institute of Technology as an Assistant Professor.  You will also be able to find out more about their research here.

Electrocatalytic reactions play a vital role in the transition towards a sustainable economy, but the field has to overcome several challenges to scale the technology further. New strategies to prepare more selective or efficient materials are required, but there is also a need to increase the stability of the catalyst during the reactions.

-Using electrochemistry for the clean conversion of energy and electrosynthesis of chemicals is key to decarbonize the industry but insufficient if a sustainable preparation of the catalysts does not accompany it. My research investigates inexpensive and greener routes for the electrochemical synthesis of multimetallic nanostructures with tuned composition and structure using more environmentally benign electrolytes, such as deep eutectic solvents, says Paula.

Paula joined KTH and WISE in January this year and has a licentiate degree in chemistry from the University of Valencia in Spain. She spent one year working at Leiden University investigating the electrochemical reduction of nitrates for water remediation. Later, she did a PhD in electrochemistry at the University of Alicante and at the University of Barcelona, Spain.  The expertise she gained during her PhD was relevant to defining her scientific profile and successfully developing her postdoc research at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, which focused on investigating well-defined and nanostructured copper catalysts for electrochemical CO2 reduction.

-We may reach a sustainable economy by creating a highly interdisciplinary environment and network that connects academia with industry and integrates different disciplines with different perspectives on the same problem. That is precisely what WISE offers and what attracted me to join the WISE initiative, concludes Paula.