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Dr Denny Gunawan

Denny photo.jpg

Postdoctoral Researcher | UNSW Sydney

Dr Denny Gunawan completed his PhD in the School of Chemical Engineering from  UNSW in 2023 under supervision of Prof Rose Amal, A/Prof Jason Scott and Dr Cuiying Toe. He is passionate about developing a practical artificial photosynthesis process, which mimics natural photosynthesis, to convert sunlight into green chemical fuels, contributing to global decarbonisation efforts.

Denny  always been fascinated by how science and engineering can play a major role in shaping the world of tomorrow. As a chemical engineer, he want to contribute to realizing sustainable and green future chemical industries. This aspiration leads him to pursue research in catalyst design and reactor engineering for practical solar energy conversion to chemical fuels.

Denny's research is centred on harnessing abundant solar energy through photoreforming to transform waste biomass into green hydrogen and value-added chemicals. The technology is a simple one-pot process that enables direct utilisation of solar energy, offering potentially competitive costs for solar hydrogen production on a large scale. In addition, the added potential for the coproduction of valuable hydrocarbons could assist with alleviating global reliance on fossil carbon sources and decreasing the cost of solar hydrogen. Aiming to make the technology commercially viable, the focus of his research spans from designing an active, selective, robust, and inexpensive photocatalyst to engineering a standalone solar photoreactor system at scale.

Apart from research, he has also been active in advocating the critical role of renewable energy to reach net-zero emissions. He wrote several opinion pieces on topics revolving around energy transition issues published in popular media outlets, such as The Conversation and The Jakarta Post.

Selected Publications:

  • Gunawan, D. et al., 2023, Appl. Catal. B, 335, 122880

  • Gunawan, D. & Wahyuni, E., 2022, Indonesia's COVID-19 recovery plan relies on dirty energy, making it harder to hit environmental targets, The Conversation.

  • Gunawan, D., 2022, Unlocking the potential of hydrogen in Indonesia, BRIN Publishing.

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