čas: 4.3.2024 04:57:31
Obnovit | RAW
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Obnovit | RAW
We are delighted to announce an admission call for PhD candidates. Currently, we have open four interesting topics from the field of Green Chemistry, in particular biomass valorisation and design of catalysts. If you are interested in those topics and want to make your PhD in Prague, please, contact us and follow the admission procedure.
EN: Valorization of furanic compounds by their hydrogenation
Furanic compounds are key intermediates for the chemical valorization of sugar polymers (cellulose, hemicellulose) of lignocellulosic biomass. The aim of the dissertation will be the design and study of new types of catalysts for efficient hydrogenation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural into bis-hydroxyfuranic compounds, which are potential monomers for new types of sustainable biopolymers. Therefore, the dissertation will focus on the synthesis of hydrogenation catalysts and optimization of both the support and the active hydrogenation component, characterization of active catalyst centres, testing of activity, selectivity and stability of developed catalysts, and finding and understanding the relationships between synthesis and activity parameters of developed catalysts
EN: Design of catalysts for selective deoxygenation of phenolic compounds
Phenolic compounds are key intermediates for the chemical valorization of lignin from lignocellulosic biomass. The aim of the dissertation will be the design and study of new types of catalysts for efficient selective deoxygenation of substituted methoxyphenols, which are a feedstock with application potential for both sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and substituted cyclohexanones. Therefore, the dissertation will focus on the synthesis of deoxygenation catalysts and optimization of both the support and the active deoxygenation component, characterization of active catalyst centres, testing of activity, selectivity and stability of developed catalysts and finding and clarifying the relationships between synthesis and activity parameters of developed catalysts
EN: Design of catalysts with tailored structural and acid-base properties
Heterogeneous catalysts can fully unlock the chemical potential of biomass if their textural and acid-base properties can be optimized for the needs of specific reactions. The aim of the dissertation will be the design and study of hierarchical approaches to the control of textural properties, optimization of chemical composition and resulting acid-basic properties of prepared catalysts. Therefore, the dissertation thesis will focus on the preparation of SiO2 catalysts modified by other oxides (Al2O3, TiO2, ZrO2, etc.) by various methods. Supports prepared in this way with controlled texture and acidity (concentration of centers and their strength) will be further modified with metals (e.g. Ni, Co, Cu) and will be tested in suitable model reactions.
EN: Conversion of methanol to hydrocarbons
Methanol plays an important role in current efforts to decarbonize the chemical industry, as it is a key intermediate in the valorisation of waste carbon dioxide. The aim of the dissertation will be the design and study of new types of catalysts for the efficient conversion of methanol to hydrocarbons. Therefore, the dissertation will focus on the synthesis of catalysts and their modification, characterization of active catalyst centres, testing of activity, selectivity and stability of developed catalysts, and finding and understanding the relationships between synthesis and activity parameters of developed catalysts.
Our group started the new year by attending the 7th Catalytic Seminar at the Institute of Environmental Technology, Technical University of Ostrava. It was the first opportunity for our 2nd year PhD student Sharmistha to present her work and get feedback from the audience of experts. She presented her work on "Modified TiO2/SiO2 material as a support for ester hydrogenolysis catalyst". Another PhD student Snehasis presented his latest work on "Hydrodeoxygenation of anisole and guaiacol over alumina supported Ni and Cu catalysts". Besides our student’s presentation, there were other interesting topics like transesterification of citronellol or catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 reduction which has enriched our knowledge and will also help us to improve our research work. Moreover, the seminar allowed us to meet professors and PhD students from universities across the Czech Republic. We are grateful to the organizers for their warm hospitality and a productive conference.
In 2024, our former Department of Petroleum Technology and Alternative Fuels has been merged with a second department. This fusion resulted in a new workplace Department of Sustainable Fuels and Green Chemistry. We are pleased that Green Chemistry is so important and now playing a key role in the department.
The end of 2023 brought a spectacular moment. Our leader, colleague and friend, David Kubička, received the appointment decree as a professor from the hands of the President of the Czech Republic. He has done long-term and excellent work in the field of Chemical and energy processing of fuels. All of us wish him new opportunities and good luck in his career.
While pursuing my doctoral studies at Lodz University of Technology in Poland, I have the privilege of engaging in a collaborative project with the prestigious UCT Prague. The primary objective of my Ph.D. dissertation is to unlock the potential of biomass-derived compounds and convert them into valuable chemicals using Ru-based catalysts in the process of catalytic hydrodeoxygenation.
Over the course of two enriching months in Prague, I had the opportunity to work closely with the renowned GreenCats group. This experience was invaluable in enhancing my understanding of catalyst characterization through advanced analytical techniques and the optimization of catalyst performance for industrial applications using flow reactors. These skills and insights have undoubtedly contributed significantly to my professional growth and expertise in the intricate field of catalysis and biomass conversion.
Apart from the academic and research experiences, my time in Prague was equally enriched by the city's unmatched beauty. From the enchanting old town with cobblestone streets to the iconic Prague Castle, every corner holds a unique charm. The Charles Bridge, Vltava River, Astronomical Clock, and vibrant markets create a fusion of history, culture, and architectural splendour that continues to captivate me. Without a doubt, I am looking forward to visiting this remarkable city again in the future.
New topics and challenges were discussed with prof. Joris Thybaut from Ghent University during his two-day visit at the university. First, he delivered an open lecture to employees and students followed by a discussion. The lecture was about sustainable research that he does and about his touch with the industry that has to implement new green solutions. This perfectly matched with the GreenCats strategy as both research groups – it is not secret – are involved in the Green-Chem association. Based on this platform it is possible to collaborate, exchange students and share practical knowledge. Therefore, despite his expertise which is not only in the field of chemical engineering or reaction kinetics, we met on a couple of topics for future collaboration. We were happy to invite Joris at our university.
After more than 10 years, Bogdan has decided to close his chapter at UCT and start writing the new one in the private sector. First of all, we would like to congratulate him on his new job and also say thank him for what he did for us.
Bogdan started to work with David Kubička during his Master's thesis as a part of the European project Biomates. Since the collaboration was successful, he decided to study PhD to extend his understanding in the field of bio-oil processing. In April 2022 he successfully defended his PhD thesis. Since that time he tried to get as much as possible of his experience to his PhD student. Both were working on the anisole valorisation. During those many years, Bogdan has collaborated on 13 published manuscripts which makes his contribution remarkable. Therefore, we are losing young and ambitious researcher. Personally, I am losing a great friend sitting next to me for more than five years having all the time very cheerful mood. I and the whole GreenCats group wish you many successful steps in your career.
PS. Everyone will remember your Algerian coffee Bog ;-)
A way how to maximize the retention of biogenic carbon in the pool of liquid fuels is a step closer to advanced biofuels to mitigate climate change.
Our recent work was dedicated to the integration of biofeedstock (pyrolysis bio-oil) into the crude-oil refinery streams in the way to maximize the conversion of biocarbon to the fuels. This work demonstrates the novelty of how to preserve almost 90% of bio-carbon from feed (hydrogenated bio-oil distillation residue) and convert it to liquid fuels in the hydrocracking process under conventional reaction conditions. Compared to other solutions, such a process generally preserves 2-3 times more bio-carbon in liquid products, which benefits in atom economy.
Jarda departed for France in June. One year later when Jarda was awarded by French Embassy in Prague he decided to valorise his one-month stipend in UCCS Lille. Under new supervision by prof. Jean-Francois Lamonier and prof. Sebastien Royer, he will characterize novel TiO2-coated silica materials. Using XPS, TEM or TOF-SIMS he will try to analyze the catalyst surface. Good luck!
My name is Gonçalo, and I am a student at the Catholic University of Portugal, Porto. I am currently in the third and final year of my bachelor in bioengineering study, in which I had the opportunity to opt for the field of environmental engineering.
I found out about the UCT Prague in 2022 when my university presented me with the list of possible university partnerships to carry out my final project in an Erasmus mobility regime. After some research, I discovered the GreenCats group, which got my interest right from the start, and I have been following their work ever since.
Now, I arrived in Prague 4 weeks ago and I am enjoying it a lot. The city is amazing and full of history, there are a lot of places to visit and learn about. For the coming months of my stay, I look forward to exploring not only Prague but also the hidden gems in the Czech Republic.