Universiteit Twente (UT), The Netherlands

High tech, human touch. That is the University of Twente. Some 3,300 scientists and other professionals working together on cutting-edge research, innovations with real-world relevance and inspiring education for more than 9,000 students. The enterprising university encourages students to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and is a partner of Kennispark Twente.

The project will be executed within MESA+, Institute for Nanotechnology, encouraging intensive cooperation with various research groups within the University. The institute employs 500 people of which 275 are PhD’s or postdocs. The structure within MESA+ supports and facilitates the researchers and stimulates cooperation actively. MESA+ combines the disciplines of physics, electrical engineering, chemistry and mathematics. Internationally appealing research is achieved through this multidisciplinary approach. The research-institutes CTIT, IGS and MESA+ at the University of Twente have bundled their research on renewable energy into the Green Energy Initiative, strengthening the collaboration between the various scientific disciplines in renewable energy research at the University of Twente.

The aim of the Catalytic Processes and Materials group is to understand heterogeneous catalysis by investigation of catalytic reactions and materials on a fundamental level in combination with their application in practical processes. Our research focuses on three themes:

  1. Sustainable processes for fuels and chemicals, like catalytic conversion of biomass to fuels.
  2. Heterogeneous catalysis in liquid phase
  3. High yield selective oxidation

The group was one of the first groups to shift focus to catalysis for biomass conversion, initiated ten years ago. The fundamental study of surface reactions in liquid phase requires the development of new analysis techniques for which CPM is in the forefront of leading catalysis groups in the world.

Moreover, we explore preparation and application of new highly porous, micro-structured support materials, e.g. based on CNFs, as well as micro-reactors and micro-fluidic devices, using the information obtained from in-situ spectroscopy studies.

Key people involved

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (1960) was trained as a chemical engineer at Twente University and received his PhD in 1987. The Royal Dutch Chemical Society awarded his thesis with the Catalysis Prize of the section Catalysis. He continued to specialize on heterogeneous catalysis and joined the DSM Research laboratories, working on catalyst characterization, hydrogenation, slurry phase catalysis, carbon supported metals and kinetics. He was appointed full professor “Catalytic Processes and Materials” (CPM) at Twente University in 1999. He has been visiting professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology. His research interests within the field of applied heterogeneous catalysis include selective oxidation, heterogeneous catalysts in liquid phase, and catalysis for sustainable processes for fuels and chemicals. He was appointed as a Finnish Distinguished Professor in 2011 as a visiting professor at Aalto University in Helsinki. He (co-)authored 140 peer-reviewed scientific publications and three patents. Additional it is aimed to hire researchers (e.g. PhD students or PostDocs) for the project. In addition, Prof. Seshan as well as dr. Barbara Mojet, both affiliated with the CPM, will contribute to the project.

Major role in the project

The main contributions to the proposed project comprise catalyst testing with the aqueous phase of flash pyrolysis oil, development of CNF-based support materials and studying reaction intermediates on the surface of the catalyst with ATR-IR, including development of a in-situ reaction cell that allows operation at APR conditions.