Spectroscopic studies of porous catalysts and reaction mechanism

The objective of this project is to employ advanced spectroscopic methods to understand and improve both the catalytic performance and stability of zeolite catalysts.

The conversion of methanol to hydrocarbons using acidic, microporous zeolite catalysts constitutes a key step for the production of chemicals and fuels from captured CO2 in a cyclic carbon economy (carbon capture and utilization, CCU). However, the realization of this scenario requires improved understanding, improved catalysts, and improved processes – all calling for fundamental studies.

The distinguishing feature of microporous zeolite materials is that their functional surface is internal surface. This means that the relevant chemical phenomena happen within the tight confinement offered by the porous crystal structure. This places special requirements on the tools available to study the chemistry occurring on these internal surfaces.

The objective of this project is to employ advanced spectroscopic methods to understand and improve both the catalytic performance and stability of zeolite catalysts. We will adopt an operando strategy, which means to carry out the spectroscopy while the zeolites are functioning as catalysts at realistic reaction conditions. We will employ vibrational spectroscopy (infrared and Raman) and UV-Visible spectroscopy in a complementary manner. Interpretation of complex spectra will require simulations of structural and spectroscopic features of catalysts and catalytic intermediates.

Requirements

  • MSc in chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, or related fields, preferably in practical heterogeneous catalysis, is required.
  • Candidates with documented experience in UV-Visible spectroscopy or Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) will be prioritized.
  • Experience in situ or operando measurements of working catalysts is beneficial.

Supervisors

Professor Silvia Bordiga

Professor Stian Svelle

Call 2: Project start autumn 2022

This project is in call 2, starting autumn 2022. 

Published Aug. 17, 2020 12:29 PM - Last modified Nov. 17, 2020 2:58 PM