Direct conversion of synthesis gas to aromatics
Aromatics are key chemical intermediates and are also present in transportation fuels in particular gasoline. With the advent of alternative feedstocks such as natural gas, shale gas, biomass and the like, conversion of these feedstocks via synthesis gas (a mixture of CO and H2) towards aromatics  and lower olefins  is desirable. These may geared towards specific aromatics such as para-xylene for polymers or mixtures of aromatics for fuels. Previously, direct conversion of synthesis gas to aromatics has involved several approaches based on combinations of methanol synthesis and acid catalysts  and on Fischer Tropsch (FT) combined with acid catalysts . Major challenges resides with selectivity and stability of the hybrid catalysts while limited understanding of the mechanisms is apparent in the earlier work.
1. The main objective of this research project is the fundamental understanding of the stability and the selectivity of the catalysts. Iron nanoparticles are the catalyst of choice for conversion of synthesis gas to lower olefins (also referred to as Fischer Tropsch to Olefins, FTO) Subsequently the lower olefins will be converted to aromatics over a zeolite-based acidic catalysts.
2. Alternatively, synthesis gas is converted to methanol followed by dehydration/condensation to aromatics using bi-functional catalysts based on metal and acid functions, e.g. copper and zeolites respectively.
2011 – 2014
M.Sc. Chemistry (University of Oldenburg, Germany)
Master thesis at the UCT, Cape Town, South Africa
“In-situ preparation and Fischer-Tropsch testing of cobalt nano particles”
2007 – 2011
B.Sc. Chemistry (University of Oldenburg)
Bachelor thesis at Süd-Chemie in Heufeld
“Examination of the transesterfication performance of pilot-scale synthesised Hydrotalcites”
2004 – 2007
Apprenticeship at LUFA Nord-West in Oldenburg to chemical laboratory worker
2002 – 2004
Graf Anton Günther Gymnasium in Oldenburg (general qualification for university entrance)
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