Florian Zand

PhD Candidate
Employed since: June 2019
Email: f.zand@uu.nl
Room: Open Space 5th



The replacement of scarce noble metals by base metals in catalyst formulations is a fundamental challenge for sustainability in catalysis, which has to be tackled by a multitude of approaches. Although nickel catalysts have been applied in many processes in the past, the requirements for novel processes often cannot be met by base metals alone. For some reactions, the superior activity, selectivity, or stability of noble metal catalysts leaves no alternatives, despite their high price, as can be seen for various industrial processes.[1] However, the combination of metals and the exploitation of their synergy offers the potential to almost entirely replace them and simultaneously outperform their monometallic counterparts as can be seen for Pd-Ni catalysts in a variety of reactions ranging from biomass conversion to electrocatalysis. [2-6]

The fundamental understanding of these catalysts is an inevitable step to design novel catalysts for future processes like the valorization of biomass or even off-gases. By studying catalysts under operando conditions as well as their genesis we can gain insights on their dynamic structural evolution and link those insights with their performance. By linking these structure-performance relations with alterations in the synthesis procedure we will contribute to the concept of rationally designing bimetallic catalysts.

[1] Twigg, M. V. et al., Eds., CRC Press, 2018.
[2] Zhang, J. W. et al., Green Chemistry, 2016, 18, 6229-6235.
[3] Steinhauer, B. et al., Applied Catalysis A: General, 2009, 366, 333-341.
[4] Huynh, T. et al., Electrochemical Communications, 2019, 101, 93-98.
[5] Feng, Y.-S. et al., Chinese Chemistry Letters, 2015, 26, 709-713.
[6] Zhang, L.-J. et al., Journal of Chemical Research, 2018, 42, 419-423.



Since 2019:

Ph.D. candidate at the group of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis under the supervision of Prof. Dr. B.M. Weckhuysen and Dr. Robin Geitenbeek.

Project title: “Characterization of bimetallic catalysts: size, structure and composition during synthesis and at work”



M.Sc. in Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich

Master thesis in the field of Catalyst Engineering.



B.Sc. in Chemistry at the Technical University of Graz

Bachelor thesis in the field of Analytical Chemistry.