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Dissertation Thesis

We are happy to announce four PhD 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 study at the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, please contact us. Updated on 16th February 2024.

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.

Updated: 16.2.2024 16:31, Author: Jaroslav Aubrecht