Dr Vannia Dos Santos Durndell

Dr Vannia Dos Santos Durndell

Senior Technician

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



I current work as a Senior Technician in the radionuclide facility CoRIF.

I have been working at the University of Plymouth in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (SoGEES) since 2020, previously as a Technician delivering support to the teaching and research team, undergraduate and postgraduate project students across and outside of the school. I have also been part of the teaching team for the CHM Advanced Analytical Techniques module (CHM3013 2021-2022 and 2022-2023) more specifically teaching Gas Chromatography. Concerning research development, I had an opportunity to take a secondment contract as a research assistant (July to September 2021) in surface treatment of absorptive materials for recovery of volatile anaesthetic gases in collaboration with academia and industry, with Dr Lee Durndell and industrial partner SageTech Medical. 

I previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher (2014 to 2018) in research institutes across the UK and Brazil where I gained extensive experience relating to the design and characterisation of hierarchically structured materials with catalytic activity for the transformation of biomass and waste materials into biofuels, value-added products and platform chemicals.


2010 - 2014 PhD in Chemistry (Design of materials with catalytic activity for biomass transformation), Universidade Federal do Parana - Brazil (period at Cardiff University -UK)

2008 - 2010 MSc in Chemistry, Universidade Federal do Parana - Brazil

2004 - 2008 BSc(Hons) in Chemistry, Universidade Federal do Parana - Brazil

Professional membership

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry



Research interests

Main research area: Material chemistry with a focus on solving environmental problems:

Design of materials with catalytic activity to transform biomass and waste into biofuel and/or value-added products.

Green Chemistry, sustainable chemistry, circular economy.



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Rabee AIM, Durndell LJ, Fouad NE, Frattini L, Isaacs MA, Lee AF, Mekhemer GAH, Santos VCD, Wilson K & Zaki MI (2018) 'Citrate-mediated sol–gel synthesis of Al-substituted sulfated zirconia catalysts for α-pinene isomerization' Molecular Catalysis 458, 206-212 , DOI
dos Santos-Durndell VC, Peruzzolo TM, Ucoski GM, Ramos LP & Nakagaki S (2018) 'Magnetically recyclable nanocatalysts based on magnetite: an environmentally friendly and recyclable catalyst for esterification reactions' Biofuel Research Journal 5, (2) 806-812 , DOI
Silva Â, Wilson K, Lee AF, dos Santos VC, Cons Bacilla AC, Mantovani KM & Nakagaki S (2017) 'Nb2O5/SBA-15 catalyzed propanoic acid esterification' Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 205, 498-504 , DOI
Manayil JC, dos Santos VC, Jentoft FC, Granollers Mesa M, Lee AF & Wilson K (2017) 'Octyl Co-grafted PrSO<sub>3</sub> H/SBA-15: Tunable Hydrophobic Solid Acid Catalysts for Acetic Acid Esterification' ChemCatChem 9, (12) 2231-2238 , DOI
dos Santos VC, Durndell LJ, Isaacs MA, Parlett CMA, Wilson K & Lee AF (2016) 'A new application for transition metal chalcogenides: WS2 catalysed esterification of carboxylic acids' Catalysis Communications 91, 16-20 , DOI
Bacilla ACC, de Freitas MR, Bail A, dos Santos VC, Nagata N, Silva Â, Marçal L, Ciuffi KJ & Nakagaki S (2016) 'Heterogeneous/homogeneous esterification reaction catalyzed by a solid based on a vanadium salt' Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical 422, 221-233 , DOI
Pirez C, Reche MT, Lee AF, Manayil JC, dos-Santos VC & Wilson K (2015) 'Hydrothermal Saline Promoted Grafting of Periodic Mesoporous Organic Sulfonic Acid Silicas for Sustainable FAME Production' Catalysis Letters 145, (7) 1483-1490 , DOI
dos Santos VC, Wilson K, Lee AF & Nakagaki S (2015) 'Physicochemical properties of WO x /ZrO 2 catalysts for palmitic acid esterification' Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 162, 75-84 , DOI
Giang C, Osatiashtiani A, dos Santos V, Lee A, Wilson D, Waldron K & Wilson K (2014) 'Valorisation of Vietnamese Rice Straw Waste: Catalytic Aqueous Phase Reforming of Hydrolysate from Steam Explosion to Platform Chemicals' Catalysts 4, (4) 414-426 , DOI
Bail A, dos Santos VC, de Freitas MR, Ramos LP, Schreiner WH, Ricci GP, Ciuffi KJ & Nakagaki S (2013) 'Investigation of a molybdenum-containing silica catalyst synthesized by the sol–gel process in heterogeneous catalytic esterification reactions using methanol and ethanol' Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 130-131, 314-324 , DOI
dos Santos VC, Bail A, Okada HDO, Ramos LP, Ciuffi KJ, Lima OJ & Nakagaki S (2011) 'Methanolysis of Soybean Oil Using Tungsten-Containing Heterogeneous Catalysts' Energy &amp; Fuels 25, (7) 2794-2802 , DOI
Nakagaki S, Bail A, Santos VCD, Souza VHRD, Vrubel H, Nunes FS & Ramos LP (2008) 'Use of anhydrous sodium molybdate as an efficient heterogeneous catalyst for soybean oil methanolysis' Applied Catalysis A: General 351, (2) 267-274 , DOI