Currently the following calls for literature studies, only for master students of nanomaterials science at Utrecht University, are open. If you are interested please directly contact the indicated supervisor(s).
Supervisor(s): Caroline Versluis
Title: Fluid Catalytic Cracking Particle Analysis
Although the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) process is being practiced for over 80 years to convert crude oil into usable products, there is still a lot to learn about the mechanism behind the catalytic cracking to tune the selectivity. It is generally accepted that it involves the formation of carbenium ions and that several acid catalyzed reaction pathways can occur (parallel) which lead to the formation of the products. However, the exact location of these acid sites and the influence of the composition of the particle on these sites for example is still studied. Imagine you are a crude oil molecule: which way will you follow through the particle and which interactions and reactions will you encounter and where? On these questions I hope to gain more insight during my PhD. With this literature review I hope to get an overview of the work that has been done in our group (ICC) on FCC particles but also in other groups on where the acid sites are located in the particle, where the reactions happen and how the acidity and acid sites are influenced (by composition and steam or metal (Ni/V) deactivation).
 E.T.C Vogt & B.M. Weckhuysen, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2015, 44, 7342
Supervisor(s): Kristiaan Helfferich (MCC group, please contact via firstname.lastname@example.org)
Title: Methods to characterize metal-metal interactions in supported bimetallic nanoparticles
Supported bimetallic nanoparticles are of great interest in heterogeneous catalysis for their modified properties as opposed to monometallic nanoparticles through their modified electronics and structure. However, understanding the mechanisms behind these modifications is difficult as the addition of another metal adds complexity. The purpose of this literature review is to identify and describe how characterization techniques, bulk or local probing, using spectroscopy, microscopy or diffraction can be employed to study bimetallic nanoparticles in the context of catalysis