Marcel Schreier

Position title: Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry


Engineering Hall 3016
Madison, WI 53706

Research Website
Schreier Group
Marcel Schreier


  • B.S. in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (EPFL)
  • M.S. in Chemical and Bioengineering (ETH Zurich)
  • Ph.D. (EPFL) Advisor: Michael Grätzel
  • Postdoc (MIT) Advisor: Yogesh Surendranath

Marcel grew up in Basel, Switzerland. He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from EPFL. During his undergraduate studies, he worked on Li-Ion battery research at BASF and investigated Fischer-Tropsch refining catalysts at the University of Alberta. Marcel then got his M.S. in Chemical and Bioengineering from ETH Zurich. His master’s research was performed in the laboratory of Sossina Haile at Caltech, where he designed fuel cell electrodes. He subsequently joined the laboratory of Michael Grätzel at EPFL, where he developed electrocatalysts and devices for the sunlight-driven reduction of CO2 to fuels. Following his passion for fundamental electrochemistry, Marcel then moved to MIT, where he joined the group of Yogi Surendranath as an SNSF Postdoctoral Fellow. There, he investigated the fundamental mechanisms which drive the synthesis of fuels using electrical energy and generated new insight into the complex surface-chemical processes which make it possible to run chemical reactions using electricity.



(TL;DR) We use electrochemistry for storing energy and driving the chemical industry of the future!

Marcel’s research interests center on understanding how the configuration of electrochemical interfaces control surface-chemical reactions to define the outcome of electrocatalytic transformations. His group uses this insight to extend the reaction scope of electrocatalytic transformations beyond the activation of small inorganic molecules.

Electrocatalysis provides a fascinating opportunity to interconvert electrical and chemical energy. In this regard, the Schreier group aims to extend the scope of electrochemical reactivity beyond small molecules like water and carbon dioxide. This work is driven by questions aimed at elucidating the elementary processes that take place at electrochemical interfaces, such as:

How does an electric field drive chemical conversion? At which point in a catalytic cycle is energy transferred? And how?

The Schreier group translates this fundamental understanding to open pathways to catalytic transformations that use electricity as a driving force instead of traditional fossil-based heat sources. Since most existing processes rely on hydrocarbons as feedstocks and energy carriers, our main efforts are directed towards developing the science for converting hydrocarbons using electrical energy. In doing so, we develop technologies that will open new avenues for the storage of renewable electricity and enable the electrification of the chemical industry.