Dr Gabriel Da Silva

  • Room: Level: 03 Room: 06
  • Building: Chemical Engineering #1
  • Campus: Parkville

Research interests

  • Atmospheric Science (Air Quality; Climate; Kinetics; Pollution)
  • Combustion Chemistry (Kinetics; Aromatics; Ethanol)
  • Computational Chemistry (DFT; Ab Initio; Kinetics; Thermodynamics)

Personal webpage



Dr Gabriel da Silva is a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne.

Research Activities
- Environmental engineering
- Combustion and atmospheric chemistry
- Biofuels research
- Nitrosation reactions
- Materials and minerals engineering
- Bioleaching (biohydrometallurgy) 

Dr da Silva’s research interests are broadly in the area of energy and the environment, using computational chemistry techniques and reaction rate theory to model complex reaction networks relevant to combustion and atmospheric chemistry, as well as environmentally important organic reaction mechanisms. The current research focus is directed toward understanding and modeling reaction processes related to the use of biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel, and biomass), allowing us to optimize their combustion and thereby support the uptake of these green, renewable energy-sources. Studies are also underway to model the formation and atmospheric reactions of pollutants like soot, persistent free radicals, and ozone depleting substances. A further area of interest is bioleaching, where naturally occurring bacteria are used to leach base and precious metals from sulphide minerals. 

Professional Experience
Lecturer, The University of Melbourne, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2007 – present
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Chemistry and environmental Science, 2005 – 2007
Engineering Research Assistant, BHP Billiton, Biohydrometallurgy Research Group, 2000 – 2002

Recent publications

  1. Almeida TSD, Guima KE, Silveira RM, Da Silva G, Martines MAU, Martins CA. A Pd nanocatalyst supported on multifaceted mesoporous silica with enhanced activity and stability for glycerol electrooxidation. RSC Advances. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2017, Vol. 7, Issue 20.
  2. Sutton C, Da Silva G, Franks G. Bonding of Aqueous Citrate with Zn2+ and ZnO Nanoclusters: A Theoretical Study. CHEMISTRYSELECT. Wiley-VCH. 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 6.
  3. Catani KJ, Muller G, Da Silva G, Bieske E. Electronic spectrum and photodissociation chemistry of the linear methyl propargyl cation H2C4H3+. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS. American Institute of Physics. 2017, Vol. 146, Issue 4.
  4. Foong T, Brear M, Morganti KJ, Da Silva G, Yang Y, Dryer FL. Modeling End-Gas Autoignition of Ethanol/Gasoline Surrogate Blends in the Cooperative Fuel Research Engine. ENERGY & FUELS. American Chemical Society. 2017, Vol. 31, Issue 3.
  5. Da Silva G. Mystery of 1-Vinylpropargyl Formation from Acetylene Addition to the Propargyl Radical: An Open-and-Shut Case. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2017, Vol. 121, Issue 10.
  6. Lim SF, Harris BL, Khairallah G, Bieske E, Maitre P, Da Silva G, Adamson BD, Scholz MS, Coughlan NJA, O'Hair R, Rathjen M, Stares D, White J. Seleniranium Ions Undergo pi-Ligand Exchange via an Associative Mechanism in the Gas Phase. JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY. American Chemical Society. 2017, Vol. 82, Issue 12.
  7. Sun J, So S, Da Silva G. The gas phase aldose-ketone isomerization mechanism: Direct interconversion of the model hydroxycarbonyls 2-hydroxypropanal and hydroxyacetone. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF QUANTUM CHEMISTRY. John Wiley & Sons. 2017, Vol. 117, Issue 20.
  8. Teles R, Arenillas A, Da Silva G, FernÁndez PS, Cardoso ESF, Maia G, Martins CA. Understanding the Influence of the Biomass-Derived Alcohols on the Activity and Stability of Pt Nanoparticles Supported on Graphene Nanoribbons. Electrocatalysis. Springer Verlag. 2017, Vol. 8, Issue 2.
  9. Da Silva G. Decomposition of Pyruvic Acid on the Ground-State Potential Energy Surface. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2016, Vol. 120, Issue 2.
  10. Prendergast MB, Kirk BB, Savee JD, Osborn DL, Taatjes CA, Masters K-S, Blanksby SJ, Da Silva G, Trevitt AJ. Formation and stability of gas-phase o-benzoquinone from oxidation of ortho-hydroxyphenyl: a combined neutral and distonic radical study. PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2016, Vol. 18, Issue 6.
  11. Borduas N, Murphy JG, Wang C, Da Silva G, Abbatt JPD. Gas Phase Oxidation of Nicotine by OH Radicals: Kinetics, Mechanisms, and Formation of HNCO. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LETTERS. American Chemical Society. 2016, Vol. 3, Issue 9.
  12. Borduas N, Abbatt JPD, Murphy JG, So S, Da Silva G. Gas-Phase Mechanisms of the Reactions of Reduced Organic Nitrogen Compounds with OH Radicals. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society. 2016, Vol. 50, Issue 21.
  13. So S, Wille U, Da Silva G. A Theoretical Study of the Photoisomerization of Glycolaldehyde and Subsequent OH Radical-Initiated Oxidation of 1,2-Ethenediol. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2015, Vol. 119, Issue 38.
  14. Hemberger P, Da Silva G, Trevitt AJ, Gerber T, Bodi A. Are the three hydroxyphenyl radical isomers created equal? - The role of the phenoxy radical -. PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2015, Vol. 17, Issue 44.
  15. Thee H, Smith K, Da Silva G, Kentish S, Stevens G. Carbonic anhydrase promoted absorption of CO2 into potassium carbonate solutions. GREENHOUSE GASES-SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. John Wiley & Sons. 2015, Vol. 5, Issue 1.

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile