In Nature, complex biomacromolecular systems have evolved to control the formation of functional inorganic materials with complex morphology and structure. Currently, it remains a challenge to synthesize such complex structures in a controlled manner. In this project, researchers will investigate in detail how novel porous oxides can be synthesized with optimal pore size, preferably large pores for efficient transport and small pores for shape selectivity, to catalytically convert large biomass molecules to useful product. The idea of the project is to assemble small building units in such way that porous structures are obtained with tunable catalytic properties. By using sophisticated analytical techniques such as (cryo)electron microscopy and in-situ SAXS/WAXS we will be able to monitor the development of structure and morphology in the reaction mixture. Insight in these processes will guide us to better control the final structures.
Project leader: Prof. Emiel Hensen