Per-Anders Carlsson

Professor of Materials and Surface Science; Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Competence Centre for Catalysis

I am curious about fundamental materials properties and surface chemistry processes in catalysis as well as how these processes can be controlled in applications for green chemistry and sustainable technologies. Through broad collaborations, methods from traditionally different branches of chemistry and physics are joined as to explore on the atomic level materials “at work”, so-called operando characterisation.

Keywords: Surface Chemistry; Green Chemistry and Catalysis; Operando Characterisation

Green Chemistry (KBT245, 7.5 hec)
The course explains the principles of green chemistry and end-of-pipe methods, with a basis in the molecular and materials chemistry, and discusses alternative solutions to support a sustainable development. The level of understanding should be such that the students in their profession as engineers critically can participate in discussions regarding selection of methods for increased sustainability within industrial production of chemicals and fuels, and to avoid environmental stress caused by pollution and energy-related problems.

Modern Catalysis - Principles and Applications (15 hec, graduate level)
The course aims at deep understanding of modern concepts and methods in catalysis with an expansion towards experimental techniques and applications of catalyst technologies. It is designed for doctoral students and experienced materials researchers with an interest in catalysis and surface reactions. Participants should after the course possess the skills to critically analyse catalysts and catalytic reactions on the atomic scale, and design relevant catalyst technologies for industrial, environmental and energy-related problems.

Catalytic Emission Control (outreach course open for KCK members)
The course explains the principles of heterogeneous catalysis with focus on environmental catalysis, i.e., catalytic emission control. The level of understanding should be such that the participants in their profession as engineers critically can participate in discussions regarding selection and evaluation of catalyst technologies for abatement of NOx, hydrocarbon and particulates.

​Research Aim and Approach
Catalysis has shaped our past and will shape our future. We explore new catalytic materials, their molecular function and ways to use them for environmental protection and chemical production without putting planetary boundaries for sustainability at risk. We make materials and study their properties with time-resolved spectroscopic and scattering methods in controlled environments (in situ) and most often while monitoring their efficiency as commonly referred to as operando characterisation. The gained knowledge is essential input for the design of new competitive materials and processes. Complementary information such as related system level effects and techno-economic considerations is achieved through cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Green Aromatics for a biobased economy is a research direction where we explore catalytic valorization of low-cost pre-processed hemicellulosic furans/furfurals into benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTXs). These compounds are among the few major chemical building blocks that cannot be made from methane in established processes. Our approach follows many green principles when natural complexity in the renewable feedstock is catalytically refined as opposed to a syngas route where the feedstock first is broken down to a CO/H2 intermediate mixture. Together with researchers at RISE, we adopt a multidisciplinary methodology that incorporates fundamental catalyst science, on-line biostream speciation and techno-economic analysis. Funding: Formas.

CO2 Utilization as chemical feedstock for production of base and speciality chemicals is increasingly more important for developing a sustainable chemical industry. Not only is the carbon footprint reduced but also safety and health risks when, for example, phosgene can be replaced with CO2. Our research aims at understanding operating mechanisms and designing new catalyst formulations for efficient CO2 hydrogenation to methane and methanol, which then can be used as green drop-in reactants in present chemical processes. Funding: Swedish Research Council and Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation.

Power-to-Food (PtF) is a concept for production of food with significantly reduced environmental impact. It takes on the challenge to feed the 10 billion population, as predicted for 2050 by UN, within the planetary boundaries for sustainability. The concept makes use of energy carried by (renewable) electrical power and a carbon source, such as CO2, to produce food by a number of consecutive chemical steps. This way food can be produced without exceeding the planetary boundaries for, e.g., climate change, phosphorous and nitrogen balance, freshwater use, land-system change and biosphere integrity. Together with researchers at RISE, we develop the PtF concept with activities spanning from research on detailed chemistry to studies on system level effects and techno-economic analysis. Funding: Vinnova.

Catalytic Emission Control has been essential for improving urban air quality through mitigation of hazardous emissions from mobile and stationary sources. With increasing human population and emerging mega-cities, both outdoor and indoor air treatment will be necessary for a forseeable future. We study catalytic systems for oxidation of CO and HCs including VOCs and reduction of NOx foremost within the transport sector. We focus on revealing and controlling key structural and chemical catalyst performance parameters to make new catalyst concepts with improved efficiency. Many projects are carried out within the national research environment Competence Centre for Catalysis (KCK). Funding: Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Swedish Research Council.

Doctoral candidates

Lic Eng Peter Velin

MSc Felix Hemmingsson

MSc Christopher Sauer

MSc Mengqiao Di

MSc Yanyue Feng

Postdocs and researchers

Dr Andreas Schaefer


PhD Sheedeh Fouladvand

PhD Djamela Bounechada

PhD Emma C. Adams

MSc Mattias Englund

PhD Natalia M. Martin

PhD Xueting Wang

Published: Mon 26 Sep 2011. Modified: Mon 30 Sep 2019