Title of the PhD project: Multifunctional zeolite materials for processing of platform chemicals and their derivatives

Contact person and project supervisor: Dr. Maksym Opanasenko maksym.opanasenko@natur.cuni.cz

Research group: Heterogeneous catalysis and advanced materials

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

Web pages of the research group:

Project summary:
Due to molecular sieving effect, high adsorption capacity and adjustable chemical composition zeolites are efficient catalysts for a number of processes. However, there is still a lack of synthesis tools for generation of active centers of particular characteristics at particular location in the zeolite frameworks. In addition, there is a growing demand in the catalysts possessing several types of active sites that can be realized in zeolites. The rational design of multifunctional zeolitic materials for catalytic transformation of platform chemicals is an aim of proposed project. The work will include 1) application of various synthetic techniques (hydrothermal synthesis, post-synthesis, ADOR) allowing fabrication of materials with desired nature and concentration of active sites; 2) advanced characterization of designed materials; and 3) their application for one-pot multistep (cascade) reactions required the presence of several types of active centers (Brønsted and Lewis acid, metal). The proposed project is focused on the preparation of structurally and chemically diversified zeolites followed by thorough investigation of structure – functionality –activity relationship in a set of useful processes (transformation of furfuryl alcohol/furfural to γ-valerolactone; sucrose isomerization to hydroxymethylfurfural followed by its oxidation to furandicarboxylic acid; condensation of levulinic acid and furfural with further hydrogenation of intermediate product).

Five relevant publications of the research group:

  1. “The ADOR mechanism for the synthesis of new zeolites” by J. Čejka et al. in Chem. Soc. Rev. 44 (2015) 7177.
  2. “Vapour-phase-transport rearrangement technique for the synthesis of new zeolites“ by M. Opanasenko et al. in Nature Comm, 10 (2019) 5129.
  3. “Hierarchical Beta zeolites as catalysts in a one-pot three-component cascade Prins–Friedel–Crafts reaction“ by M. Opanasenko et al. in Green Chem 22 (2020) 6992
  4. “Zeolites for Fine Chemistry“ in Zeolites in Catalysis: Properties and Applications (Eds: J. Čejka, R. E Morris, P. Nachtigall), 2017, Maksym Opanasenko.
  5. “Isoreticular UTL-derived zeolites as model materials for probing pore size-activity relationship” by M. Opanasenko et al. in ACS Catal. 9 (2019) 5136

Current research grants of the group: 

  1. "ADORable catalysts" ExPro project GAČR (2019 – 2023)
  2. "Advanced characterization of active sites in novel zeolite-based catalysts" GAČR (2020 – 2022)

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