PhD fellow in "Selectivity driving parameters in redox reactions catalyzed by Lewis acid zeolites"

Project supervisor: Jan Přech

Project summary:

Zeolites are robust and environmentally friendly heterogeneous catalysts. They contain framework metal ions, which act as Bronsted or Lewis acid sites. In particular, the Lewis acid sites (generated, e.g., by incorporated Ti, Sn, Zr, and Hf ions) catalyze selective redox reactions such as oxidation with peroxides or hydrogen transfer reactions. Type and coordination of the acid sites together with their confinement and surrounding channel environment define the site catalytic properties.

The overarching aim of this PhD project is to find parameters, which define the selectivity in selected redox reactions, use these parameters to drive the selectivity and ultimately induce a stereoselective progress of the reaction.

The project will cover 3 basic tasks:

  1. synthesis of the Lewis acid zeolites, which will include known syntheses optimization to drive type of the present acid sites,
  2. investigation of selected redox reactions in terms of and varying the used conditions and selectivity modifiers, and
  3. characterizing acid site-substrate complexes to get insight in the reaction mechanism particularly in respect to the selectivity modifying parameters.

Of these, task II will be the most important and it will include simple experiments in batch catalytic reactors as well as work with complex microflow catalytic apparatus.