Published 15 April 2021 by Jayeeta Saha

Young Scientists at #LINO70: Jayeeta Saha – A Green Pathway to Generate Hydrogen

Jayeeta in the lab. Photo/Credit: Courtesy of Jayeeta Saha

Jayeeta Saha will participate in the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (27 June – 2 July 2021). Here the young scientist from India gives a short overview about her research, her way through the pandemic and her plans for the future.

I am about to finish my PhD in Chemistry at IIT Bombay. The main focus of my PhD project is to find a way to generate molecular hydrogen (H2) with the lowest energy penalty as an alternative for fossil fuel. In our research group we are trying to develop a new pathway which can produce hydrogen with a high efficiency without any carbon footprint. To design it, we investigated fundamentals to find out what happens in the reaction and to learn more about the intermediates.

We use the magnetohydrodynamics theory in a morphologically exclusive catalyst to decrease the energy by at least 19 percent by using a weak magnet of 100 mT– a stable, energy-efficient process to generate hydrogen in a green pathway. The use of magnets instead of electricity is quite an innovative way. Our research helps to reduce the charge-transfer resistance with a magnetic catalyst embedded on a morphologically expandable carbon support, enhancing the production of H2. This is a unique cost-effective and environmental friendly path to generate H2.

In-situ electrocatalytic setup under Raman spectroscopy to capture the formation of intermediates during water splitting reaction. Jayeeta uses magnets instead of electricity to generate hydrogen. Photo/Credit: Courtesy of Jayeeta Saha

Plans Postponed to 2021

My fascination about science, especially chemistry, started in school. I focused on organic chemistry in my Bachelor and my Master, later I concentrated on nanochemistry. Approximately one year ago I had the plan to finish my PhD, travel to Lindau, discuss my work and collect various inputs from Nobel Laureates and other scientists.

Both had to be postponed for one year because of the pandemic. There is one positive consequence on a personal level: I am spending a lot of time with my family as I moved to my home town, Santiniketan (established by Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Laureate, 1913), for a while, where the number of Corona cases is quite low.

Now, in spring 2021, I am going to realise these projects. Currently I am busy with the last steps of my PhD and I will be part of #LINO70 this summer. At the same time I make plans for my postdoc phase and apply for positions. In the future I wish to gain more knowledge about catalysis and sensing with a biological application for example.

#LINO70 is a Great Opportunity

Jayeeta in front of her campus. Photo/Credit: Courtesy of Jayeeta Saha

I think the participation in the Lindau Meeting is a wonderful chance. To get this opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement. Already it is warmly welcomed by the Indian media as well appreciated by not only the students but all countrymen. My dream is to meet Laureates like M. Stanley Whittingham and John B. Goodenough. They made my topic “nobel”.

Initially it was heartbreaking to hear about the postponement. But as the pandemic increased, the best way to stop it is avoiding any kind of gathering and I really loved to be part of the Online Sciathon. I worked in the Group Tiwari to find a better way to communicate climate change – a highlight for me in 2020! So I am quite sure that the participation in the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting will be a highlight in 2021.

About This Series

Within the next three months you will find more young scientists who are selected for #LINO70 on the blog to learn more about their career, their research and their plans for the future.

Further articles in this series:

Lučka Bibič about science communication by gamification

Robert Mayer about the prediction of chemical reactions

Daniel Reiche about his work as a theoretical physicist

Jayeeta Saha

Jayeeta Saha, senior research scholar at the IIT-B Chemistry Department is looking forward to finally attend the Lindau Meeting onsite in 2022. She completed her PhD project about an innovative way to generate hydrogen.