Available Literature Studies

Currently the following calls for literature studies are open. If you are interested please directly contact the indicated supervisor(s).

Supervisor(s): Joren Dorresteijn
Title: Effect of boron reagents as co-catalyst or dopant in metallocene polymerization catalysts
Project description: Metallocene catalysts have become increasingly important in the field of olefin polymerization since the initial discovery, which was reported by Kaminsky and Brintzinger. These systems mainly consist of a metallocene that is supported on silica gel and co-catalysed with methylaluminoxane (MAO). The supported metallocene catalysts exhibit high activities in ethylene, propylene, and higher R-olefins polymerization. Boron-containing co-catalysts have already been employed as an alternative or in combination with alkylaluminum reagents. However, there is still a discrepancy in understanding since there is little information reported about the influence wielded on the final properties of the materials by using a mixture of boron compound and MAO, and specifically depending on the ionic nature of the boron compounds. With this literature overview, we would like to obtain more insight in the precise effect of boron as a co-catalyst and the effect of boron on the final polymer properties.

Supervisor(s): Iris ten Have
Title: The role of titania support in CO/CO2 hydrogenation reactions
Project description: Heterogeneous catalysts generally consist of active metal (oxide) nanoparticles affixed to a high-surface-area support. The support material can either be reducible, such as titania, or non-reducible, such as silica. Silica is one of the most widely used supports in industry and interacts very little with the active phase. Titania on the other hand interacts in many cases with the supported active phase. This behaviour determines the unique catalytic properties of the latter. In CO/COhydrogenation reactions the catalytic activity strongly increases when titania is used as support material. However, the actual interaction that enables this increase in activity is still under debate. With this literature study we would like to obtain an overview of the potential interaction mechanisms taking place between titania and the active phase in titania-supported catalysts for CO/CO2hydrogenation reactions.

Supervisor(s): Longfei Wu and Ward van der Stam
Title: Emerging Operando X-ray Techniques Towards Understanding Heterogeneous Electrochemical CO2 Reduction
Project description: While extensive efforts have been devoted to the optimization of CO2 reduction catalysts, the underlying structure-performance relationship remains yet to be understood. X-ray based techniques, especially with the recent advances in synchrotron radiation sources, are increasingly applicable in heterogeneous catalysts which provide elemental, structural (ranges from angstroms to micrometers) and real-time probing capabilities. The objective of this literature study is to provide an overview of the emerging X-ray techniques including but not limited to X-ray absorption, diffraction and scattering that are applied in operando electrochemistry.

Supervisor(s): Jim de Ruiter and Ward van der Stam
Title:What economic challenges does CO2 electroreduction entail?
Project description: If we change the point of view from scientific to economical, CO2 can be interpreted as a ‘cheap’ feedstock for many chemicals and products. The word ‘cheap’ is enclosed in quotes, as it cannot easily be considered cheap. Taking the excess CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it into something valuable may sound as a lifechanging idea, it also raises major chemical, economic, political and environmental issues that are not so easy to solve. The review should give a better understanding on the possibilities regarding CO2 reduction from a chemical and economical point of view. Chemically, the review should be focused on electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 and the economic challenges that this entails, along with some examples (and calculations). If there is some room, one could add the pollical point of view as well, which will broaden the overall picture of the story. The aim of the review is to shed some light on the boundary between economy and chemistry in CO2 electroreduction.