Open student projects in MCC

Available student projects in MCC

It is possible to do your bachelor’s or master’s graduation project within the MCC group. Below, you will find a list of open projects. You will also find topics for literature reviews.

If you are interested in doing a project, you can reach out to your would-be supervisor directly.

BSc projects

There are currently no open BSc projects. If you are interested in doing a BSc project in our group, you can contact a PhD candidate or postdoc with a project that seems interesting to you directly and ask if he/she can create a project for you.

MSc projects

Support effects in Cu catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation to methanol (Supervisor: Laura Barberis)

Methanol is a chemical building block for hundreds of everyday products, but also an energy carrier.(1) Methanol is produced on an industrial scale using natural gas as the main feedstock. A valid and environmentally friendly alternative for methanol production consists of combining CO2 with H2 from CO2 renewable sources such as wind, hydro and solar power. The methanol formation is unfavourable from a thermodynamic point of view. Thus, control of  parameters such as temperature and pressure are essential. In particular low temperature (200-260 °C) and high pressure are required to enhance the feedstock conversion toward the desired product and minimize the formation of by-products, such as carbon monoxide.

Copper catalysts represent the main class of materials studied for the hydrogenation of CO2 into methanol since copper is one of the few metals that does not adsorb CO dissociatively. To enhance the activity and the selectivity towards methanol formation, reducible oxides are added as promoters and/or support.(2) However the mechanism by which they act is not fully understood.

The aim of this project is to explore metal-support interactions over copper-based catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation. To achieve this, controlled incipient wetness impregnation and deposition precipitation will be employed to synthesize Cu nanoparticles on reducible oxides support, such as ZrO2  and TiO2.(3) Long-term catalytic tests under industrially relevant high-pressure and high-temperature will be performed to evaluated catalysts activity, selectivity, and stability.(4)

1.          Olah GA, Goeppert A, Prakash GKS. Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy. Wiley-VCH, editor. 2009.

2.          De S, Dokania A, Ramirez A, Gascon J. Advances in the Design of Heterogeneous Catalysts and Thermocatalytic Processes for CO2Utilization. ACS Catal. 2020;14147–85.

3.          Munnik P, de Jongh PE, de Jong KP. Recent Developments in the Synthesis of Supported Catalysts. Chem Rev. 2015;115(14):6687–718.

4.          Dalebout R, Visser NL, Pompe CEL, de Jong KP, de Jongh PE. Interplay between carbon dioxide enrichment and zinc oxide promotion of copper catalysts in methanol synthesis. J Catal. 2020;392(October):150–8.

MSc literature reviews

There are currently no open literature review projects. If you are interested in doing a literature review project in our group, you can contact a PhD candidate or postdoc with a project that seems interesting to you directly and ask if he/she can create a project for you.

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