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PhD topics for academic year 2021/2022

Department of Petroleum Technology and Alternative Fuels

Analysis of fuel additives and determination of their content in motor fuels

Šimáček Pavel, doc. Ing. Ph.D. ( sim...@vscht.cz)
Motor fuels often contain low concentrations of special fuel additives, which improve their properties. The additives can be commonly added to motor fuels during their production, but they can be also added to motor fuels after basic refinery fuel formulation, mostly in form of additive packages present in premium motor fuels. There are also retail additive packages designed for fuel treatment directly in the fuel tanks of vehicles. The scope of the work is development and optimization of analytical methods designed for fuel additives, for their identification and determination of their content in motor fuels.

Hydrogenation of aldol condensation products

Kubička David, doc. Ing. Ph.D., MBA ( Dav...@vscht.cz)
The thesis will deal with hydrogenation of products obtained by aldol condensation of e.g. furfural with acetone or cyclohexanone. These products are highly functionalized which makes their selective conversion into components of aviation biofuels or bio-monomers highly challenging. The key aspect is the development of a stable and selective bifunctional catalyst that will allow obtaining high yields of desired hydrocarbons or diols. Main attention will be focused on synthesis, characterization and testing of catalysts with the aim to describe the relationship between catalyst’s composition and properties, on the one hand, and its activity and selectivity, on the other hand, and facilitate thus rational design of an optimum catalytic system.

Hydrogenolysis of polyols over heterogeneous Cu catalysts

Kubička David, doc. Ing. Ph.D., MBA ( Dav...@vscht.cz)
Kocík Jaroslav, Ing. ( Jar...@unicre.cz)

Characterization of sulphur compounds in petroleum middle distillates

Šimáček Pavel, doc. Ing. Ph.D. ( sim...@vscht.cz)
The thesis will deal with detailed characterization of sulphur compounds present in petroleum middle distillates using one-dimensional gas chromatography with selective detectors (flame photometric, pulsed flame photometric and sulphur chemiluminescence detectors) and using multidimensional comprehensive gas chromatography with mass spectrometry and sulphur chemiluminescence detectors. The aim of the work will be development and optimization of suitable analytical method and identification and determination of sulphur compounds present in petroleum middle distillates. Based on the experience gained, the possibilities of reducing the content of sulphur compounds in diesel fuel will be assessed by adjusting the conditions of hydrotreating and by adjusting of distillation cuts of individual diesel fuel components.

Investigation of Cu-based catalyst in hydrogenolysis of esters

Kubička David, doc. Ing. Ph.D., MBA ( Dav...@vscht.cz)
Hydrogenolysis catalysts are an important class of catalysts that need to be innovated to replace the traditional chromium-containing catalysts. The work will be focused on the synthesis and detailed characterization of Cu-based catalyst including the use of in-situ characterization. The synthesis and characterization data will be combined with the catalytic results of ester hydrogenolysis both in the liquid and gas phases. This will allow elucidating the effects of the local Cu environment on the catalyst activity, selectivity, and stability and provide further insights into the similarities and differences of gas and liquid phase processes.

Multifunctional heterogeneous catalysts for biomass valorization

Kubička David, doc. Ing. Ph.D., MBA ( Dav...@vscht.cz)
The complexity of biomass-derived raw materials necessitates the development of novel catalysts with several cooperative catalytic functionalities. The work will focus on designing, synthesizing, and characterizing multifunctional catalysts and evaluating their catalytic activity, selectivity, and stability in the transformation of biomass-derived raw materials (such as furfural, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, or levulinic acid) to value-added chemicals and/or advanced biofuels. The main attention will be directed at understanding the relationships between catalyst synthesis and its structure and properties as well as between catalyst structure and properties and its performance.

Solid base catalysts for condensation reactions

Kubička David, doc. Ing. Ph.D., MBA ( Dav...@vscht.cz)
Solid base catalysts are promising catalysts for the valorization of short-chain aldehydes and ketones to valuable chemical intermediates. The work will focus on a detailed investigation of new compositions and synthesis strategies to understand the origin of the catalytic activity of hydrotalcite-based catalysts that would allow improving their long-term stability. Besides aldol condensation, other reactions from classical organic synthesis will be targeted as well to investigate whether the hydrotalcite-based catalysts could replace the traditional base catalysts and make the syntheses “greener”.
Updated: 17.2.2017 13:52, Author: Miroslav Šimek

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