We are happy to announce four new Ph.D. thesis topics related to our ongoing research projects focusing on biomass valorization to value-added products with the help of heterogeneous catalysis and green chemistry principles. If you would like to know more about the topics or studying at the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, please contact us. The deadline to apply for the positions is 15. 4. 2021.
Heterogenní bazické katalyzátory pro kondenzační reakce
Solid base catalysts for condensation reactions
Solid base catalysts are promising catalysts for the valorization of short-chain aldehydes and ketones to valuable chemical intermediates. The work will focus on a detailed investigation of new compositions and synthesis strategies to understand the origin of the catalytic activity of hydrotalcite-based catalysts that would allow improving their long-term stability. Besides aldol condensation, other reactions from classical organic synthesis will be targeted as well to investigate whether the hydrotalcite-based catalysts could replace the traditional base catalysts and make the syntheses “greener”.
Hydrogenace produktů aldolové kondenzace
Hydrogenation of aldol condensation products
The thesis will deal with hydrogenation of products obtained by aldol condensation of e.g. furfural with acetone or cyclohexanone. These products are highly functionalized which makes their selective conversion into components of aviation biofuels or bio-monomers highly challenging. The key aspect is the development of a stable and selective bifunctional catalyst that will allow obtaining high yields of desired hydrocarbons or diols. Main attention will be focused on synthesis, characterization and testing of catalysts with the aim to describe the relationship between catalyst’s composition and properties, on the one hand, and its activity and selectivity, on the other hand, and facilitate thus rational design of an optimum catalytic system.
Multifunkční heterogenní katalyzátory pro zhodnocení biomasy
Multifunctional heterogeneous catalysts for biomass valorization
The complexity of biomass-derived raw materials necessitates the development of novel catalysts with several cooperative catalytic functionalities. The work will focus on designing, synthesizing, and characterizing multifunctional catalysts and evaluating their catalytic activity, selectivity, and stability in the transformation of biomass-derived raw materials (such as furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, or levulinic acid) to value-added chemicals and/or advanced biofuels. The main attention will be directed at understanding the relationships between catalyst synthesis and its structure and properties as well as between catalyst structure and properties and its performance.
Studium měděných katalyzátorů v hydrogenolýze esterů
Investigation of Cu-based catalyst in hydrogenolysis of esters
Hydrogenolysis catalysts are an important class of catalysts that need to be innovated to replace the traditional chromium-containing catalysts. The work will be focused on the synthesis and detailed characterization of Cu-based catalyst including the use of in-situ characterization. The synthesis and characterization data will be combined with the catalytic results of ester hydrogenolysis both in the liquid and gas phases. This will allow elucidating the effects of the local Cu environment on the catalyst activity, selectivity, and stability and provide further insights into the similarities and differences of gas and liquid phase processes.