Research objectives and content
In the chemical industries, heterogeneous catalysts are used in preference of the homogeneous ones since the separation of the catalysts from the product is economically important and more difficult in the case of the latter. To overcome this problem. we propose to trap active homogeneous catalysts using zeolites (with an expected Supramolecular effect from the cage) for the Hydroformylation and the Heck reactions. Using zeolites as "support", we will focus the studies on active catalysts (Transition metal complexes and Clusters) based on Rhodium, Ruthenium and Palladium, for the proposed reactions.
We will analyse the impact of the "cage effect" (i.e. the structure of the complexes) and the particle sizes on the outcome of the reactions, and the stability of the catalysts during the reactions. Getting these information, we plan a pre-industrialisation of these processes, and the development of more advanced technologies as bi-catalytic processes. using the own catalytic properties of zeolites.
The proposed catalysts will be characterised using TEM, IR, XRD, TPR and NMR, and their activity tested in liquid and gas-phases .
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The research group of Professor W. A. Herrmann has for a long time worked in the field of homogeneous catalysis. especially for the hydrofomylation and the Heck reactions. Recently, new developments in supporting homogeneous catalysts onto metal oxides were achieved. The proposed researches should allow me to improve my background knowledge in the field of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, and of the technological problems posed by the industrialisation of catalysed reactions. The "heterogenization" of homogeneous catalysts is today a crucial research point for the future of the catalysed processes in the industry. Consequently, my participation to this area is for my career an unexpected opportunity. I hope that our researches will contribute to the development of industrial processes in cooperation with chemical industries.