Dr Gabriel Da Silva

  • Room: Level: 01 Room: 72
  • Building: Chemistry Building
  • 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. Jacovella U, Da Silva G, Bieske E. Unveiling New Isomers and Rearrangement Routes on the C7H8+ Potential Energy Surface. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2019, Vol. 123, Issue 4. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.8b10642
  2. Bull J, Scholz M, Carrascosa Casado E, Da Silva G, Bieske E. Double Molecular Photoswitch Driven by Light and Collisions. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS. American Physical Society. 2018, Vol. 120, Issue 22. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.223002
  3. Da Silva G. Improved rate coefficient expressions for the reaction of methyl bromide with OH and Cl radicals. CHEMICAL PHYSICS LETTERS. Elsevier Science. 2018, Vol. 706. DOI: 10.1016/j.cplett.2018.06.043
  4. Reilly NJ, Da Silva G, Wilcox CM, Ge Z, Kokkin DL, Troy TP, Nauta K, Kable SH, McCarthy MC, Schmidt TW. Interconversion of Methyltropyl and Xylyl Radicals: A Pathway Unavailable to the Benzyl-Tropyl Rearrangement. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A. American Chemical Society. 2018, Vol. 122, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1021/acsjpca.7b11914
  5. So S, Wille U, Da Silva G. Photoisomerization of Methyl Vinyl Ketone and Methacrolein in the Troposphere: A Theoretical Investigation of Ground-State Reaction Pathways. ACS EARTH AND SPACE CHEMISTRY. American Chemical Society. 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 8. DOI: 10.1021/acsearthspacechem.8b00066
  6. Bull J, Carrascosa Casado E, Mallo N, Scholz M, Da Silva G, Beves JE, Bieske E. Photoswitching an Isolated Donor-Acceptor Stenhouse Adduct. JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS. American Chemical Society. 2018, Vol. 9, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b03402
  7. 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. DOI: 10.1039/c6ra28864b
  8. 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. DOI: 10.1002/slct.201602011
  9. 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. DOI: 10.1063/1.4974338
  10. Bright CC, Prendergast MB, Kelly PD, Bezzina JP, Blanksby SJ, Da Silva G, Trevitt AJ. Highly efficient gas-phase reactivity of protonated pyridine radicals with propene. PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS. Royal Society of Chemistry. 2017, Vol. 19, Issue 46. DOI: 10.1039/c7cp06644a
  11. 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. DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.6b02380
  12. 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. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.6b12996
  13. Lim S, Harris BL, Khairallah G, Bieske E, Maitre P, Da Silva G, Adamson B, Scholz M, Coughlan N, 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. DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.7b00877
  14. 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. DOI: 10.1002/qua.25434
  15. 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. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.5b10078

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