A promising strategy to replace non-renewable fuel sources, as raw material for energy applications, is to convert renewable biomass into transportation fuels and value-added chemicals. In this project, we aim to produce biofuels or high value chemical intermediates from sugars by catalytic transformations using mesoporous zeolites.
Zeolites are nanostructured materials comprising micropore and mesopore aluminium silicate frameworks, which are the centre of catalytic applications for the synthesis of bulk and fine chemicals. A crucial application, useful for energy applications, is the conversion of sugars like glucose or fructose to intermediates like levulinic acid, which are the precursors of fine chemicals and fuels.
In this project you will tackle this challenge by synthesizing an array of zeolites by using an array of different preparation method and protocols. This project involves the following techniques or methods: heterogeneous catalyst synthesis, XRD, HPLC, GC/MS analysis, kinetic studies and catalyst design. The project may also involve collaborations with external institutions.
**Please note this project is for self-funded students**
This is a self-funded project. The applicant should have or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject.