Prof. Dr. Frédéric Vogel

Group Head Catalytic Process Engineering

Paul Scherrer Institut
Forschungsstrasse 111
5232 Villigen PSI

2012 to present

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW, Brugg-Windisch, Switzerland
Professor for Renewable Energies

  • Joint appointment with the Paul Scherrer Institut, conducting independent research in bioenergy-related topics
  • Teaching the basics of process engineering, bioenergy, and directing semester projects, Bachelor and Master theses at the University of Applied Sciences.

2010 to 2020

Hydromethan AG, Villigen, Switzerland
Head of Technology Development

  • Scientific and technical support of a feasibility study for a demonstration plant for the catalytic hydrothermal gasification of biomass with a capacity of 1 t/h.

2003 to present

Paul Scherrer Institut, Research Division Energy and Environment, Laboratory for Bioenergy and Catalysis, Villigen, Switzerland
Head of the Catalytic Process Engineering Group.
Co-founder of the spin-off company „Hydromethan AG“ for the commercialization of the catalytic hydrothermal gasification of biomass.
Conducting independent research in the fields of

  • Hydrothermal gasification of biomass for the production of substitute natural gas
  • Biphasic depolymerization of lignin to valuable chemicals
  • Hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass to jet fuels
  • Development of catalysts for hydrothermal processes

2000 to 2002

Paul Scherrer Institut, Research Department General Energy, Laboratory for Energy and Materials Cycles, Villigen, Switzerland
Senior scientist in the Catalytic Process Engineering Group.

  • Autothermal reforming and catalytic partial oxidation of methanol for fuel cell applications
  • Well-To-Wheel analyses of different fuel processing options
  • Hydrothermal gasification of wood sawdust

1997 to 1999

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Energy Laboratory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Visiting Engineer with Prof. Jefferson W. Tester and Prof. Kenneth A. Smith enjoying a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).

  • Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO) of methanol
  • Kinetic modeling of SCWO of complex mixtures
  • Conversion of black liquor into valuable products in a plasma reactor

1993 to 1997

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, Zurich, Switzerland.
Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Philipp Rudolf von Rohr
Developed a novel process for the wet oxidation of organic compounds with oxygen at mild conditions (patent filed).

1989 to 1993

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, Zurich, Switzerland.
Diploma in Chemical Engineering. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Paul Rys.
Performed numerical simulations of convection, diffusion and parallel-consecutive chemical reactions in a two-dimensional incompressible fluid flow on a CRAY Y-MP supercomputer (vectorized FORTRAN code).

Born in Grenchen (Switzerland) on May 29, 1969.

  • 1997 Young researcher fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).
  • 2001 Invitation to the Exploratory Workshop on “Supercritical Fluids as Active Media: Fundamentals and Applications”, European Science Foundation, Valladolid, Spain.
  • 2004 SNF grant for attending the CERC3 Young Chemists Workshop, St Malo, France.
  • 2004 Poster award (2nd prize), session “Hydrogen from fossil fuels”, 15th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, Yokohama, Japan.
  • 2007 Poster award, Alliance for Global Sustainability, Annual Meeting, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 2007 Prize winner of the PSI competition on compensating CO2 emissions from air travel.
  • 2007 Invited book chapter for Handbook of Green Chemistry, Wiley VCH.
  • 2008 Best poster award, session “Biofuels”, 16th European Biomass Conference, Valencia, Spain.
  • 2009 Best poster award, session “Solid/gaseous biofuels”, 17th European Biomass Conference, Hamburg, Germany.