Our young and motivated research team works on a variety of research topics with a wide range of possible applications. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in a bachelor, advanced or master thesis.

BACHELOR-, MASTER THESES AND PRACTICAL COURSES

  • Preparation of transition metal catalysts by synthesis of Prussian Blue Analogues

Topics Bachelor, Advanced and Master Theses / Supervised by M.Sc. Stephan Feser

On the one hand, catalysts require a high specific surface area in order to provide as many active centres as possible for the reaction; on the other hand, an unhindered flow into and out of the pores must be ensured by meso- and macropores. In addition, spinels are to be specifically produced, which are then to be used as solid catalysts in CO oxidation.

Prussian blue and its analogues, which are synthesised by co-precipitation, serve as templates. The aim is to generate as large a uniform pore system as possible, which is then to be partially protected during the subsequent calcination to mixed metal oxides/spinels. This is done by using saturated salt solutions during washing.

The variations of the parameters during the synthesis are almost unlimited, so that a variety of routes are to be tried and analysed. Subsequently, the samples will be tested in the catalytic CO oxidation. For master's students, analyses after oxidation could then follow in order to comprehensively characterise the catalyst.

Analyses will be carried out via mercury intrusion, nitrogen low-temperature sorption, scanning electron microscopy, XRD, ICP-OES, ...

Stephan Feser

Ph.D. Student

Technikum Analytikum
Linnéstraße 3, Room 547
04103 Leipzig

Telephone: +49 341 97-36324

  • Synthesis of highly porous silica xerogels as thermal insulation material

Topics Advanced and Master Theses | Supervised by M.Sc. Kai Müller

 Synthesis of highly porous silica xerogels as thermal insulation material

In order to reduce energy consumption in Germany and worldwide, effective materials for thermal insulation must be developed. With their help, the required heating energy can be significantly reduced.

One of the most promising materials is silica aerogels, which are produced based on the sol-gel process. These highly porous gels have extremely low thermal conductivities, but are only used to a limited extent due to the currently still high production costs and low stability. Silica xerogels, on the other hand, show improved stability and significantly lower manufacturing costs, although the thermal conductivity of the material increases.

Within the framework of a master's thesis, the properties of the xerogels are to be optimised in the direction of lower thermal conductivities with the same stability.

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Kai Ludwig Müller

Research Fellow

Chemische Reaktionstechnik
Technikum Analytikum
Linnéstraße 3, Room 519
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-36313

  • Synthesis of carbon-silica composites

Topics Bachelor, Advanced and Master Theses / Supervised by M.Sc. Bettina Lilli

In the course of Green Chemistry, the sustainable synthesis of adsorbents for the removal of pollutants from water bodies is becoming more and more important. Agricultural residues in particular are taking on an increasingly important role here. Within this topic, carbon-silica composites are to be produced from rice husks via various synthesis steps. The variation of different parameters will be investigated.

Nitrogen sorption, water glass analysis, CHN elemental analysis, optical emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma and scanning electron microscopy are mainly used for characterisation.

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Bettina Sigrid Lilli

Research Fellow

Chemische Reaktionstechnik
Hauptgebäude Chemie
Johannisallee 29
04103 Leipzig

  • Synthesis of water-stable porous boron nitride by leaching

Topics regarding Bachelor and Advanced Thesis / Supervised by M.Sc. Tim Jähnichen

Unlike many other adsorbents, boron nitride has high thermal and chemical stability, and therefore can be used sustainably and regenerated easily. Due to its special dipolar properties, the material has a high affinity for adsorption of metal ions, antibiotics, organic solvents and greenhouse gases. It can also be used as a hydrogen storage medium. However, the material has low stability to water, so its applications are severely limited.

Through preliminary work, the synthesis of water vapor-stable boron nitride was achieved. Unfortunately, these materials did not show complete stability toward liquid water. In order to further increase the stability of porous boron nitrides, the method of postsynthetic leaching will be applied. Within the scope of this work, optimal parameters for this post-treatment are to be found in order to obtain a material that is as porous and stable as possible. The characterization of the materials takes place primarily via mercury intrusion, nitrogen sorption, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetry, XPS and infrared spectroscopy.

 

  • Application of boron nitride as catalyst support

Topics regarding Bachelor and Advanced Thesis / Supervised by M.Sc. Tim Jähnichen

Boron nitride can be used as a catalyst support for catalysis processes up to about 800 °C due to its high temperature resistance. In addition, it has a high resistance to reaction with other gases. Successful synthesis of vapor-stable boron nitride has made it possible to investigate the performance of metal-impregnated boron nitride towards catalytic processes.

In the context of this work, different metal salts or spinels can be applied to boron nitride to enhance its catalytic activity. The characterization of the materials takes place primarily via mercury intrusion, nitrogen sorption, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetry, ICP-OES and infrared spectroscopy.

 

  • Synthesis of monolithic boron nitride

Topics regarding Advanced and Master Thesis / Supervised by M.Sc. Tim Jähnichen

The synthesis of monolithic materials is necessary in many fields to obtain explicit shaped bodies for adsorption processes. Therefore, the targeted synthesis of monolithic boron nitride by prior or postsynthetic pressing will be investigated. In this process, the surface and structure of the materials should be preserved, as well as the stability towards water. In addition, a scale up of the synthesis should be investigated.

The characterization of the materials will take place primarily via mercury intrusion, nitrogen sorption, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy.

 

Tim Jähnichen

Research Fellow

Chemische Reaktionstechnik
Technikum Analytikum
Linnéstraße 3, Room 547
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-36324

  • Surface characterisation of porous materials by inverse gas chromatography

Topic for Advanced Thesis| Supervised by Dr. Ralf Meyer

In heterogeneous catalyst systems, phase boundary interactions play a crucial role for successful conversion. The intensity of this phase contact is determined by the measurand "surface energy" and consists of a disperse and a polar part, which together fully describe the attractive interactions. Inverse gas chromatography is already an established analytical method for determining disperse interactions (Van der Waals forces).
However, the aim of the in-depth study is to also characterise the polar fraction of the surface energy with the help of inverse gas chromatography in order to enable a holistic description of the material to be investigated. For this purpose, porous glasses will be used as column material and the influences of porosity and surface modifications will be investigated.

 

Dr. Ralf Meyer

Research Fellow

Chemische Reaktionstechnik
Technikum Analytikum
Linnéstraße 3, Room 519
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-36313

  • Development of porous, high-temperature stable CeO2 supports for sustainable CH4 production from greenhouse gases

Topics regarding Bachelor, Advanced and Master Thesis / Supervised by M.Sc. Tim Jähnichen

Due to depleting oil and natural gas reserves sustainable production of valuable fuels such as synthetic natural gas from CO and CO2 (SEG) or bioethanol from sugar- or starch-containing plants is becoming increasingly important. If CO/CO2 from the atmosphere or renewable resources is used for sustainable SEG synthesis, greenhouse gases are reduced and global warming is counteracted. Low-cost supported nickel-based catalysts possess high selectivity and activity in this hydrogenation reaction. For these catalysts, it has been shown that the support (Al2O3, CeO2, ZrO2, etc.) not only determines the textural properties and dispersion of the active phase, but also plays a key role in CO2 activation. Ceria has excellent redox properties (Ce3+/Ce4+ redox couple) and also exhibits high oxygen storage capacity. Accordingly, ceria supports possess a large amount of oxygen vacancies with intermediate basicity compared to other support materials, which promote CO2 activation dissociation and metal-support interaction.

The following tasks will be pursued in the context of preparing an open-pore ceria support material from phase-separated glasses for SEG synthesis from atmospheres CO/CO2:

  • Preparation and characterization of homogeneous Na2O-B2O3-CeO2 glasses.
  • Generation of uniform phase separation to adjust porosity.
  • Obtaining a comprehensive understanding of phase transformation during heat treatment and extraction
  • CO/CO2 adsorption studies concerning the influence of pore texture as well as phase composition

Dr. Sharon Koppka

Research Fellow

Chemische Reaktionstechnik
Technikum Analytikum
Linnéstraße 3, Room 515A
04103 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-36309

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