Evangelia Mitraka holds a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) Greece, with her dissertation focusing on water treatment.
From 2010 to 2012, she worked as a research assistant in the Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute in Thessaloniki. Her research project focused on environmental catalysis with application on fluid catalytic cracking units of refineries. During that period, she also completed her MSc studies at AUTH with her thesis focusing on selective catalytic reduction of nitrogen oxides using hydrocarbons as reductants.
In February 2013, Evangelia joined the Organic Electronics group at LiU (Norrkoping campus) in order to begin her PhD studies. Currently, she works on catalytic processes occurring on the air electrode of renewable-energy technologies, such as fuel cells. In particular, she studies the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) taking place on the cathode of fuel cells.
Air electrodes play an important role in the development of new battery and fuel cell technologies. However, most of the present electrode materials are based on economically unfavourable noble metals, like platinum (Pt), which due to important disadvantages during operation diminish the efficiency of the device.
An alternative to these expensive and not abundant metals is the intrinsically conducting polymers, which have recently been reported as effective electrocatalytic materials for oxygen reduction. In particular, Evangelia works with the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), abbreviated as PEDOT. Although PEDOT was found to produce high rates of oxygen reduction there are still vital pieces of the ORR catalytic mechanism that remain unknown. Thus, her studies focus on elucidating and understanding the mechanism and the kinetics of ORR on PEDOT.