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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Borduas N, Da Silva G, Murphy JG, Abbatt JPD. Experimental and Theoretical Understanding of the Gas Phase Oxidation of Atmospheric Amides with OH Radicals: Kinetics, Products, and Mechanisms. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2015, Vol. 119, Issue 19.
  9. Franks G, Da Silva G. Modeling the antisymmetric and symmetric stretching vibrational modes of aqueous carboxylate anions. SPECTROCHIMICA ACTA PART A-MOLECULAR AND BIOMOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY. Pergamon-Elsevier Science. 2015, Vol. 134.
  10. Da Silva G, Franks G. Modeling the IR Spectra of Aqueous Metal Carboxylate Complexes: Correlation between Bonding Geometry and Stretching Mode Wavenumber Shifts. CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL. Wiley-VCH. 2015, Vol. 21, Issue 18.
  11. Khairallah G, MacCarone AT, Pham HT, Benton T, Ly T, Da Silva G, Blanksby SJ, O'Hair R. Radical Formation in the Gas-Phase Ozonolysis of Deprotonated Cysteine. ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION. Wiley-VCH. 2015, Vol. 54, Issue 44.
  12. Morganti K, Brear M, Da Silva G, Yang Y, Dryer FL. The autoignition of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in spark-ignition engines. PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMBUSTION INSTITUTE. Elsevier. 2015, Vol. 35.
  13. Thee H, Nicholas N, Smith K, Da Silva G, Kentish S, Stevens G. A kinetic study of CO2 capture with potassium carbonate solutions promoted with various amino acids: Glycine, sarcosine and proline. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. Elsevier. 2014, Vol. 20.
  14. So S, Wille U, Da Silva G. Atmospheric Chemistry of Enols: A Theoretical Study of the Vinyl Alcohol + OH + O₂ Reaction Mechanism. Environmental Science & Technology. American Chemical Society. 2014, Vol. 48, Issue 12.
  15. Smith K, Xiao G, Mumford K, Gouw J, Indrawan I, Thanumurthy NR, Quyn DM, Cuthbertson R, Rabindran AV, Nicholas N, Lee A, Da Silva G, Kentish S, Harkin T, Qader A, Anderson C, Hooper B, Stevens G. Demonstration of a Concentrated Potassium Carbonate Process for CO2 capture. Energy & Fuels. American Chemical Society. 2014, Vol. 28, Issue 1.

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