A.J. (Remco) Fijneman - Expertise
P.O. Box 513
5600 MB EINDHOVEN
Remco Fijneman is a PhD candidate at the Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology and is located full-time at AkzoNobel Pulp and Performance Chemicals in Gothenburg, Sweden. Born in Tilburg, the Netherlands, he studied Chemical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology where he received his MSc. degree in 2016. Parallel to his master’s program he successfully completed the Complex Molecular Systems program of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). During his studies Remco has done two internships abroad at renowned research groups: one at the group of prof. Joanna Aizenberg at Harvard University, USA and one at the group of dr. Jim de Yoreo at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), USA. In September 2016 he joined the Horizon 2020 ITN ‘MULTIMAT’ as an Early Stage Researcher. The aim of the MULTIMAT project is to understand and ultimately steer the bottom-up construction of silica-based materials with complex hierarchical pore structures.
AkzoNobel produces micrometer sized porous silica-based particles under the brand name Kromasil® that are mainly used in chromatography for the analysis and purification of pharmaceuticals such as insulin. New pharmaceuticals are produced every year and each drug has their own specific particle and porosity requirement for optimal purification. To keep up with the pharmaceutical market, we need to be able to produce tailor-made particles on an industrial scale. Sol-gel processing is a fast and controllable process to produce mesoporous silica starting from colloidal silica (silica sols). These silica sols can easily form gels upon change of pH, temperature and ionic strength. Most gels have a very high total pore volume and surface area but suffer from very low mechanical strength.
In this project we are studying the aggregation of colloidal silica sols using advanced microscopic and scattering techniques to better understand the gelation and growth of these colloidal silica sols into micrometer sized porous silica particles. By doing so we wish to identify conditions under which relatively high mechanical strength of these porous particles can be combined with a high total pore volume and surface area.