Catalytic Processes for Clean Energy

Research interests

Studies are focused on examination of polymer-palladium nano-composites as heterogeneous catalysts in liquid phase hydrogenation of organic compounds with C=O, C-OH as well as double and triple unsaturated C-C bonds (2-ethylanthraquinone, acetophenone, maleic and fumaric acids, 2-butyne-1,4-diol). The aim is to prepare catalysts with Pd particles of nano-scale and to examine the role of specific polymer properties (hydrophobic character, electroactive properties, swelling ability) in reactivity of Pd-species (access of Pd-particles) and selectivity of hydrogenation reaction. Polymers in the form of powder: poly(4-vinylpyridine), polyaniline, polypyrole, micro and macro-porous polyesters resins, and in the form of film deposited onto SiO2 grains are used. Another interest of my group is transesterification as a method of bio-fuels production by using acid and base catalysts.

Main research topics/projects

Grant PBZ-KBN-116/T09/2004
"Pd dispersed in polymer matrix - novel catalytic systems in hydrogenation of unsaturated hydrocarbons"

Research methods

  • catalytic hydrogenation in batch type reactor,
  • product analysis GC-MS and HPLC methods,
  • characterization of Pd-polymer systems (XRD, XPS, FTIR, Raman, UV-Vis, SEM, TEM, TPD)

Main achievements

  • Preparation of Pd-nanocomposites
  • Hydrogenation of 2-ethylanthraquinone;
    • identification of several new products,
    • determination of reaction pattern, the role of alkaline properties of catalysts and humidity in activity of Pd/SiO2 and Pd-polyaniline-SiO2 catalysts
  • Preparation of novel Pd-polyaniline-SiO2 catalysts
  • Determination of the role of electroactive polymer in the hydrogenation of acetophenone