Benjamin Claessens

Maître de Conférences / Associate Professor

I graduated as a bio-engineer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium) in 2016. During my studies, I got fascinated by the production of chemical building blocks from green, organic waste. I started my PhD at the same university, trying to develop new technologies to obtain chemicals of sufficient purity from such waste streams. From 'dirty' waste to 'clean' chemicals. To do this, I investigated materials which contain extremely tiny pores, working like a sponge. During my PhD, I was awarded a Gustave Boël Sofina prize, allowing me to further specialize at the University of Edinburgh. I graduated in januari 2021.

After being awarded my PhD degree, I spend 18 months as a researcher at Ghent University. Within a project coordinated by all Flemish universities and VITO, I studied the use of porous materials as filters for pharmaceutical components. The aim: developing new methods to obtain pure drugs in an energy-efficient way.

Afterwards, I worked as a researcher at the University of Aix-Marseille. Together with researchers from 4 different French universities, we study the use of porous materials to purify propylene from propane. Where do we use it for? Propylene is one of the most important building blocks in chemical industry and is used to produce polypropylene, one of the most common plastics. Our research group also studies the use of porous materials for applications within the energy transition: hydrogen storage, CO2 capture from the atmosphere, ...

Since 1/09/2023, I am appointed as "Maître de Conférences" at the University of Aix-Marseille. With our research team at the MADIREL, we investigate the adsorption of gasses and liquids in microporous materials. We combine process modelling methods with unique experimental equipment to understand adsorption mechanisms, transport of molecules in microporous materials and develop new separation processes.

After my PhD, I obtained the 3rd place at the 'Vlaamse PhD cup'. The goal: present your PhD research in 3 minutes! Ever since, I try to communicate my research results to a broader audience. Via blogposts on this website, lectures, ... Interested? Do not hesitate to contact me.