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Research Group Information
Within the Catalysis Engineering Group, with a unique combination of catalysis and engineering, advanced functional porous materials are developed, such as:
- Structured catalysts (metal-organic and covalent-organic frameworks (MOFs, COFs) and zeolites)
- Multi-phase reaction systems (gas-liquid-liquid-solid)
- Application in catalysis, separation, membranes, sensors and electronics
- Multifunctional systems (combinations of different reactions and separation, electro- and photocatalysis).
Sustainable processes, energy efficiency and energy conversion and storage are the drivers. The use of renewable raw materials, sunlight and structured catalysts is central. Technique development (electrocatalytic cell, TAP reactor), advanced characterisation (synchrotron radiation) and in-situ methods (e.g. FTIR and Raman spectroscopy) are applied to obtain information about the working material (e.g. catalyst, sensor). We also investigate the synthesis or crystallization process of the materials, in order to accelerate the development of new materials with desired functionality.
Much research is carried out together with companies and universities, both nationally and internationally, often together with other sections within ChemE and beyond (RID, P&E, Kavli).
The research on MOFs is 'booming' business. Some of these crystalline porous hybrid materials are surprisingly stable, and are ideal for functionalising and anchoring high-dispersive catalytic centres. From MOFs we produce the most active catalysts for the classic high-temperature Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. We will also apply this for other processes, such as methanol synthesis, electrocatalysis, MTO and methane activation.
Energy storage is hot, but how? We do this by converting CO2 and H2O electro- or photocatalytically into synthesis gas, hydrogen or hydrocarbons with broad spectrum MOFs. COFs have been proven to be excellent basic materials for electrocatalysis. In the EU, composite membranes (MOF-mixed-matrix membranes) for CO2 capture are being developed, along with 'designer MOFs' for use in quiet heat pumps and energy storage.
And there is much more. A new topic is the development of MOFs as electronic components, more specifically as memories and to generate mechanical energy. The latter ensures that all kinds of electronics linked to "the Internet of Things" would no longer need a battery.
In addition to experimental work, there are also possibilities for modelling projects, both at the process technological level and at the quantum mechanical (Density Functional Theory) level.
Feel free to drop by if you are curious about what your research contribution could be.