Kinetic measurements, atomistic and kinetic modelling of reactions in confined space

CO2 is a potential carbon source for chemical industry. In this project, we will study catalytic conversion of CO2 with H2 to form methanol and longer-chain compounds.

The catalysts to be investigated are based on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). MOFs are microporous materials that consist of inorganic nodes linked together by organic linker molecules to form a 3-dimensional, crystalline network. Recent studies of Pt nanoparticles (Pt NPs) embedded in a Zr-node based MOF revealed that methanol is formed at the Pt - Zr-node interface (see illustration below). The rate-limiting step of methanol formation is reduction of a formate species via hydride transfer from the Pt NP.

In this project, we will study how functionalization of the organic linker may affect:

  1. The oxidation state of Zr in the Zr-node, as well as the rate of formate reduction and methanol formation.
  2. Cascade reactions from methanol to form longer-chain products (alcohols or hydrocarbons).

The methods to be used are mainly (transient) kinetic measurements, X-Ray Photoelectron (XPS) and Infra-Red (IR) spectroscopy, while theoretical and micro-kinetic models will be developed in collaboration with computational chemists.


  • MSc in chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, or related fields, preferably in practical heterogeneous catalysis, is required.
  • Candidates with documented experience in measurements and analysis of detailed reaction kinetics and microkinetics will be prioritized.
  • Experience with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) or Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) is beneficial.


Professor Unni Olsbye

Professor Stian Svelle

Call 1: Project start autumn 2021

This project is in call 1, starting autumn 2021. Read about how to apply

Published Aug. 24, 2020 4:06 PM - Last modified Oct. 9, 2021 8:05 PM