Title of the PhD project: Design and development of novel heterogeneous catalysts for fine chemistry applications

Contact person and project supervisor: Dr. Jan Přech Jan.prech@natur.cuni.cz

Research group: Heterogeneous catalysis and advanced materials

Leader of the research group: Prof. Jiří Čejka jiri.cejka@natur.cuni.cz

Department: Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry

Web pages of the research group:
http://www.cucam.cuni.cz/
http://physchem.cz/research/heterogeneous-catalysis-and-advanced-materials/

Project summary:
Zeolites and zeolite based catalysts are of extreme importance as catalysts in present industrial chemistry. Aluminosilicate zeolites act as strong Bronsted and Lewis catalysts, while titanosilicate, tinosilicate and zirconosilicate zeolites, acting as weak Lewis acids, are able to activate various oxygen-containing functional groups for selective red-ox reactions. In addition switching from conventional (3-dimensional) to layered (2-dimensional) morphologies shortens diffusion pathways and thus enables processing of sterically demanding substrates, which would not fit into micropores of conventional zeolites. 

The aims of the PhD thesis will be to; 1) design and synthesize novel catalysts which will be able to activate hydrogen peroxide and find conditions under which these catalysts will be able to provide epoxidation of sterically demanding substrates bearing allylic functional groups; 2) seek for structure activity relationships among the prepared catalysts to understand the mechanism of its function and based on this tune the reaction conditions to maximize yield of the target products (epoxides); 3) investigate methods of the novel catalyst shaping to enable their use in fixed bed reactors; 4) investigate coupling of hydrogen peroxide formation and its use in selective oxidation. 

Five relevant publications of the research group:

Přech, J.; Kim, J.; Mazur, M.; Ryoo, R.; Čejka, J. Nanosponge TS‐1: A Fully Crystalline Hierarchical Epoxidation Catalyst, Adv. Mater. Interfaces 2020, in press.

Suib, S.L.; Přech, J.; Čejka, J.; Kuwahara Y.; Mori, K.; Yamashita, H. Some novel porous materials for selective catalytic oxidations, Mater. Today 2020, 32, 244-259.

Shamzhy, M.; Přech, J.; Zhang, J.; Ruaux, V.; El-Siblani, H.; Mintova, S. Quantification of Lewis acid sites in 3D and 2D TS-1 zeolites: FTIR spectroscopic study, Catal. Today 2020, 345, 80-87.

Přech, J.; Pizarro, P.; Serrano, D.P.; Čejka, J. From 3D to 2D zeolite catalytic materials, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2018, 47, 8263-8306.

Přech, J. Catalytic performance of advanced titanosilicate selective oxidation catalysts - a review, Catal. Rev. Sci. Eng. 2018, 60, 71-131.

TEM images of titanosilicate catalysts with lamellar morphology and enhanced active site accessibility (left, middle) and an example of structure-activity correlation using such catalysts (right)

Current research grants of the group: 

  1. EXPRO GAČR (19-27551X)
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