Season’s greetings and Happy 2021 from Aalto Catalysis group

Dear colleagues, collaborators, emeriti, old and potential future colleagues and collaborators,

Year 2020 approaches the end. Quite a year it was, with Covid-19 impacting pretty much everything. Despite the challenges, the Catalysis research group kept on operating and made progress. It is a good time to look back on the activities in the past year.

As for research, in 2020, several projects started or progressed to the next level: the company-funded HDN catalysis project, the Academy of Finland funded COOLCAT project (on CO2 hydrogenation to methanol), and the ALDI project from the Academy of Finland September 2019 call. Positions for M.Sc. thesis workers, doctoral students, postdocs, research assistant and summer student were open and filled; this will continue in 2021. The current group composition can be viewed on our website, and my project portfolio in

In teaching, course CHEM-E1130 Catalysis in Jan-Feb was still completed mostly as usual, while Covid-19 impacted course CHEM-E1140 Catalysis for Biomass Refining (due to curriculum changes organized for the last time). In the spirit of the slogan “more openness for research and teaching”, the (overall very positive) student feedback is openly shared in the MyCourses websites of the courses, with teacher’s counter feedback. Part of CHEM-E1140 will live on — in a somewhat modified form — as a Scientific Article Exercise in the CHEM-E0105 Academic Learning Community course.

Other noteworthy things from 2020 from the Catalysis research group:

  • In total nine articles were published by the current group members or previous associates of work made at Aalto CHEM – see the list at the end of this message
  • Yaseen Khan defended his doctoral thesis
  • Emma Verkama completed her Master’s theses
  • Fully remote summer works (due to Covid-19) were successfully experimented with
  • Joint presentation “On the fundamentals of ALD: the importance of getting the picture right” was given by Puurunen and van Ommen at ALD 2020, see e.g. Catalysis Professor’s Open blog
  • 2020 November Networking – ALD at Aalto University was organized fully online, experimenting with a Zoom-breakout-room-based online poster session. Feedback was overall very positive, also of the new type of poster session. At the time of writing this, the recorded lecture videos are still to be finalized, and the plan is also to share some of the feedback obtained. Thanks again for speakers and organizers!
  • New startup started operating: Chipmetrics Oy commercializes test chips for ALD saturation profile measurement, developed by Puurunen and collaborators at VTT. More info e.g. in (For clarity: Puurunen is not affiliated with Chipmetrics Oy.)
  • “More openness in science and teaching” has been realized e.g. by releasing images in Wikimedia Commons with Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 copyright, for reuse by anyone – see Category: atomic layer deposition

With this, I wish everyone a peaceful and healthy Christmas and all the best for the coming year!

Riikka Puurunen

2020 Toni Varila, Eveliina Mäkelä, Riikka Kupila, Henrik Romar, Reetta Karinen, Riikka L. Puurunen and Ulla Lassi Conversion of furfural to 2-methylfuran with CuNi catalysts supported on bio-based carbon foams Catalysis Today, in press
2020 Jihong Yim, Oili Ylivaara, Markku Ylilammi, Virpi Korpelainen, Eero Haimi, Emma Verkama, Mikko Utriainen and Riikka L. Puurunen Saturation profile based conformality analysis for atomic layer deposition: aluminum oxide in lateral high-aspect-ratio channels Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 22 (2020) 23107-23120
2020 Karsten Arts, Sanne Deijkers, Tahsin Faraz, Riikka L. Puurunen, Erwin Kessels, and Harm Knoops Evidence for low-energy ions influencing plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition of SiO2: impact on the growth per cycle and wet etch rate Applied Physics Letters 117 (2020) 031602
2020 Eveliina Mäkelä, José Luis González Escobedo, Jouni Neuvonen, Jouko Lahtinen, Marina Lindblad, Ulla Lassi, Reetta Karinen and Riikka L. Puurunen Liquid-phase Hydrodeoxygenation of 4-1 Propylphenol to Propylbenzene: 2 Reducible Supports for Pt Catalysts ChemCatChem 12 (2020) 1–16
2020 Heikki Harju, Giuseppe Pipitone, Leon Lefferts Influence of the Catalyst Particle Size on the Aqueous Phase Reforming of n-Butanol Over Rh/ZrO2 Frontiers in Chemistry 8 (2020) art. 17
2020 José Luis González Escobedo, Eveliina Mäkelä, Jouni Neuvonen, Petri Uusi-Kyyny, Marina Lindblad, Reetta Karinen, and Riikka L. Puurunen Hydrodeoxygenation of Propylphenols on a Niobia-Supported Platinum Catalyst: ortho, meta, para Isomerism, Reaction Conditions, and Phase Equilibria Advanced Sustainable Systems 4 (2020) art. 1900140 (11 p.)
2020 Yaseen Khan, Teuvo Kilpiö, Minna Marin, Vincenzo Russo, Juha Lehtonen, Reetta Karinen, Tapio Salmi Modeling of a microreactor for partial oxidation of 1-butanol on titania supported gold catalyst Chemical Engineering Science 221 (2020) art. 115695 (11 p.)
2020 José Luis González Escobedo, Petri Uusi-Kyyny, Riikka L. Puurunen, and Ville Alopaeus Hydrodeoxygenation Model Compounds γ-Heptalactone and γ-Nonalactone: Density from 293 to 473 K and H2 Solubility from 479 to 582 K Journal of Chemical Engineering Data 65 (2020) 2764-2773
2020 Eveliina Mäkelä, José Luis González Escobedo, Marina Lindblad, Mats Käldström, Heidi Meriö-Talvio, Riikka L. Puurunen and Reetta Karinen Hydrodeoxygenation of Levulinic Acid Dimers on a Zirconia-Supported Ruthenium Catalyst Catalysts 10 (2020) art. 200

Posted by Riikka Puurunen

About Riikka Puurunen

Associate professor, Catalysis Science and Technology, at Aalto since February 2017
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