Sub-programme: Inorganic technology

sub-programme description

Programme is focused on the deepening theoretical and practical knowledge of the processes used in advanced inorganic technologies. During working on research projects students gain experience with operating as a part of team. At the same time they practice skills such as  planning and administration associated with project management. During the study, the students grow in the context of the selected objects and the focus of doctoral thesis in following branches: technical electrochemistry, photocatalysis, catalytic and membrane processes or heterogeneous non-catalyzed reactions. Integral parts of the doctoral study are pedagogical activities including teaching and guiding younger students.

career oportunities

Graduates have comprehensive knowledge of basic and specialized inorganic technologies. They are able to directly apply their work experiences in solving practical problems in chemistry and other technical fields. Students are systematically trained to occupy management functions in organizations focused on production, design, consulting or research in the field of chemical technology.

subjects

Student chooses his/her subjects in agreement with his/her supervisor. List of offered courses can be found here: http://www.vscht.cz/homepage/zajemci/doktorske

Theses topics

research field: Catalysis

Catalytic transformation of methane to higher value products

The high attention on the processes of transformation of methane (C2, C3 hydrocarbons eventually) from natural gas or biogas to higher value products is paid at present time. The processes such as non-oxidative catalytic methane aromatization, selective oxidation to methanol or dimethyl ether are used. The suitable catalyst for chosen process will be developed. The effect of the reaction conditions, catalyst carrier and formation of active phase on catalyst on the methane conversion, catalyst stability and yield of products will be studied.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Kinetics of catalytic decomposition of N2O on zeolite catalysts

The topic of this work is the study of kinetics of N2O decomposition on zeolitic (MFI, FER) and titano-silicates catalysts involving Fe and other transition metals. The work will be focused on kinetic experiments in aiminf to develop reliable kinetic model suitable for desing of industrial equipment.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Bohumil Bernauer, CSc.

Kinetics of high temperature catalytic decomposition of N2O

The objective of this work is to provide the missing knowledge base for rational optimization of different categories of potentially functional metal/metal-oxo catalysts for the secondary step of the N2O elimination from the high temperature stream of the production of nitric acid, i.e. in wet and NO-rich streams under temperature regime between 750 and 900 oC. The most important output of this work is to evaluate robust support structures with oxygen vacancies and metal ions of variable valency with ability for decomposition of N2O to molecular nitrogen and molecular oxygen without destruction of the NO. The kinetic analysis at high temperature conditions will be used to elucidate the role of other components of the process stream in kinetic behavior of the catalysts involving long term deactivation.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Bohumil Bernauer, CSc.

Mathematical modeling of N2O-free ammonia oxidation catalytic reactor

The topic of this work is the development of dynamic mathematical model of catalytic reactor for high temperature ammonia oxidation in which new catalysts are applied allowing to decrease substantially N2O emission from nitric acid plants in comparaison with existing Pt-Rh catalysts. Both laboratory and process data will be used in aiming to design industrial reactor giving low N2O emissions.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Bohumil Bernauer, CSc.

Membrane reactor for application in water gas shift reaction

Hydrogen is very important chemical raw material for many synthesis, refining or as a gas fuel. One step of hydrogen production is CO conversion by water vapour (WGS). It is equilibrium catalytic reaction and it has to take place in membrane reactor with continuous withdrawing of forming products. Scope of this work is development and testing of membrane reactors with membrane based on microporous material.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

research field: Electrochemistry

Electrochemical methods for process water treatment

Electrochemical methods are suitable for water treatment due its simplicity and high efficiency. Main disadvantage is usually high price. Therefore electrochemical methods are used in the case of water of high salinity or otherwise contaminated. This is not possible to be treated by biochemical methods. Application of individual method has to be evaluated with respect to the direct process water composition.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Martin Paidar, Ph.D.

Highly efficient electrochemical CO2 reduction -inexhaustable source of simple organic molecules

An electrochemical reduction of CO2 in "zero-gap" arrangementcan can be operated as a highly efficient process which in combination with renewable energy sources of represents an inexhaustible source of simple organic molecules such as formic acid, formaldehyde or methanol. These compounds represent basis of number of established technologies. Within the work, CO2 reduction will be investigated as well as individual components (electrodes, catalyst, membrane) of the electrolyser optimisation and its operation.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Karel Bouzek

Mathematical modelling of the electrochemical systems

Mathematical modeling represents an extraordinary powerful tool for deeper understanding of the electrochemical units function and their subsequent optimization. Within the framework of this project the attention will focus on the mathematical description of the local potential and current density distribution. Subsequently the problem of the mass transfer in an electric field will be studied. The models formulated will be implemented to simulate systems with a practical impact.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Karel Bouzek

research field: Environmental protection

Application of ion selective membranes in the treatment of drinking and waste water

Electrochemical membrane processes are permanently growing area. Beside today standard applications like drinking water preparation from brackish water, this processes are suitable also for treatment of various waste and process water. It is mainly due its simplicity and high efficiency. The specific properties of membranes needs individual approach respecting the composition of treated water. The subject of proposed work is selection, design and optimization of suitable process for given water.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Martin Paidar, Ph.D.

Composite materials/ coatings based on TiO2 and ZnO for photocatalytic processes in gaseous phase

The main aim of this work is the preparation of photocatalytic active composite materials based on TiO2 and ZnO and the determination of their adsorption and photocatalytic properties. The goal is to get the material having at the same time good adsorption properties and at the same time a high ability to remove unwanted volatile substances in the air. Part of the work will use the standard ISO tests for monitoring the kinetics of oxidation reactions (NOx, VOCs) on the surface of the prepared photocatalysts. The important part is the characterization of materials/coatings (XRD, SEM, BET, Raman spectroscopy) and further development of methods allowing the testing of functional properties of the prepared materials/coatings in air treatment.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Josef Krýsa

Electrochemical methods for process water treatment

Electrochemical methods are suitable for water treatment due its simplicity and high efficiency. Main disadvantage is usually high price. Therefore electrochemical methods are used in the case of water of high salinity or otherwise contaminated. This is not possible to be treated by biochemical methods. Application of individual method has to be evaluated with respect to the direct process water composition.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Martin Paidar, Ph.D.

Inactivation of microorganisms and removal of persistent pollutants in waters by advanced oxidation processes

Systems UV/hydrogen peroxide (either continuously added or generated in situ electrochemically) and UV/photocatalyst will be compared. Several gram positive Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and gram negative (Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus) microorganisms will be studied either separately or in the mixtures. All are commonly found in the waters and furthermore model well microorganisms (Pseudomonas …..and Staphylococcus……..) which are i) present often in the swimming pool waters ii) are more resistant to disinfectants or iii) create easily biofilms. Conditions of both processes will be optimised to achieve the highest efficiency. Processes will be used also for the removal of the model water pollutants. As a next step optimised systems will be applied for real waters.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Josef Krýsa

Self-cleaning and antibacterial coating based on TiO2 and ZnO

The main scope of this work is preparation of photocatalytic active coatings/ paints based on TiO2 a ZnO on the appropriate substrate (ceramics, glass, metals, facades, hydraulic binders) by different methods. The important part of the work is films characterization (XRD, SEM, Raman spectroscopy) and development of methods for testing photoactivity and hydrophilic and antibacterial properties of prepared layers. Studied parameters will be the methods of precursor deposition (dip-coating, spraying) and the influence of the binder in the coating and the substrate.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Josef Krýsa

research field: Fuel cells

Study of the degradation processes in the mid-temperature PEM type fuel cells

An attention of the numerous laboratories around a globe is focused on the issue of the PEM type fuel cells operational temperature increase above 100 ºC. The globaly accepted approach to solve this problem consists in application of basic polymers impregnated with phosphoric acid as an electrolyte and carbon supported Pt nanoparticles as an electrolyte. The main obstacle of this approach represents corrosion aggressivenes of the phosphoric acid at the fuel cell operational conditions. The closer understanding of these processes represents an important condition of further improvement of this technology and its future practical application.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Karel Bouzek

research field: Inorganic technology

Application of ion selective membranes in the treatment of drinking and waste water

Electrochemical membrane processes are permanently growing area. Beside today standard applications like drinking water preparation from brackish water, this processes are suitable also for treatment of various waste and process water. It is mainly due its simplicity and high efficiency. The specific properties of membranes needs individual approach respecting the composition of treated water. The subject of proposed work is selection, design and optimization of suitable process for given water.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Martin Paidar, Ph.D.

Application of membranes for biogas treatment

Membrane processes are very perspective. In this work the membranes for purification of biogas from CO2 and others impurities will be developed and tested.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Catalytic transformation of methane to higher value products

The high attention on the processes of transformation of methane (C2, C3 hydrocarbons eventually) from natural gas or biogas to higher value products is paid at present time. The processes such as non-oxidative catalytic methane aromatization, selective oxidation to methanol or dimethyl ether are used. The suitable catalyst for chosen process will be developed. The effect of the reaction conditions, catalyst carrier and formation of active phase on catalyst on the methane conversion, catalyst stability and yield of products will be studied.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Kinetics of catalytic decomposition of N2O on zeolite catalysts

The topic of this work is the study of kinetics of N2O decomposition on zeolitic (MFI, FER) and titano-silicates catalysts involving Fe and other transition metals. The work will be focused on kinetic experiments in aiminf to develop reliable kinetic model suitable for desing of industrial equipment.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Bohumil Bernauer, CSc.

Kinetics of high temperature catalytic decomposition of N2O

The objective of this work is to provide the missing knowledge base for rational optimization of different categories of potentially functional metal/metal-oxo catalysts for the secondary step of the N2O elimination from the high temperature stream of the production of nitric acid, i.e. in wet and NO-rich streams under temperature regime between 750 and 900 oC. The most important output of this work is to evaluate robust support structures with oxygen vacancies and metal ions of variable valency with ability for decomposition of N2O to molecular nitrogen and molecular oxygen without destruction of the NO. The kinetic analysis at high temperature conditions will be used to elucidate the role of other components of the process stream in kinetic behavior of the catalysts involving long term deactivation.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Bohumil Bernauer, CSc.

Mathematical modelling of chemical and membrane processes using universal simulation programs

Universal simulation programs introduce a tool suitable for design of new and optimization of existing industrial technologies. In the frame of this work the static and dynamic models of selected advanced membrane and/or chemical technologies or their parts will be developed using universal simulation programs. By the help of them and computer experiment the behavior of these technologies will be studied. Verification of developed models by experimental data will be implemented. Aim of the work is the improvement of economic and ecological technological parameters. The universal simulation programs from Aspen Technology will be used preferentially.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Membrane reactor for application in water gas shift reaction

Hydrogen is very important chemical raw material for many synthesis, refining or as a gas fuel. One step of hydrogen production is CO conversion by water vapour (WGS). It is equilibrium catalytic reaction and it has to take place in membrane reactor with continuous withdrawing of forming products. Scope of this work is development and testing of membrane reactors with membrane based on microporous material.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Preparation and characterization of mixed matrix membranes for gas separation

Gas membrane separation represents one of the perspective and energy saving alternative with respect to the present separation processes (PSA, TSA etc.). In the frame of this work the mixed matrix membranes combining the perspective properties of the both, microporous and polymeric membranes, will be prepared and characterized. The microporous material e.g. ZIF-8, silicalite-1, ETS, FAU, TS-1, AFX, MOF will be used as filler and combined with polyimide matrix. The key issue of mixed matrix membranes preparation which needs to be solved is the adhesion and interface interactions of filler and polymer because of their effects on compactness and selectivity of membrane. The aim of this study is evaluation of different possibilities of microporous and polymer phase modifications with respect to the compactness of membranes and their selectivity and permeability in selected systems of hydrocarbons, CO2 and H2.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Study of the energygypsum reprocessing by converse reaction

The topic of this work is the chemical reprocessing of energogypsum. Energogypsum is produced during the wet desulfurization of coal-fired power plants and its production is higher than its usage is in building or another branches of industry. One of some possibilities there is the reprocessing of energogypsum by reaction with ammonium carbonate. This reaction represents a heterogeneous non-catalytic converse process that provides utilisable products – ammonium sulphate and calcium carbonate.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Jan Vídenský, CSc.
Thesis consultant: Ing. Ivona Sedlářová, Ph.D.

research field: Material characterization and testing

Composite materials/ coatings based on TiO2 and ZnO for photocatalytic processes in gaseous phase

The main aim of this work is the preparation of photocatalytic active composite materials based on TiO2 and ZnO and the determination of their adsorption and photocatalytic properties. The goal is to get the material having at the same time good adsorption properties and at the same time a high ability to remove unwanted volatile substances in the air. Part of the work will use the standard ISO tests for monitoring the kinetics of oxidation reactions (NOx, VOCs) on the surface of the prepared photocatalysts. The important part is the characterization of materials/coatings (XRD, SEM, BET, Raman spectroscopy) and further development of methods allowing the testing of functional properties of the prepared materials/coatings in air treatment.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Josef Krýsa

research field: Mathematical modeling and simulation

Mathematical modeling of N2O-free ammonia oxidation catalytic reactor

The topic of this work is the development of dynamic mathematical model of catalytic reactor for high temperature ammonia oxidation in which new catalysts are applied allowing to decrease substantially N2O emission from nitric acid plants in comparaison with existing Pt-Rh catalysts. Both laboratory and process data will be used in aiming to design industrial reactor giving low N2O emissions.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Bohumil Bernauer, CSc.

Mathematical modelling of chemical and membrane processes using universal simulation programs

Universal simulation programs introduce a tool suitable for design of new and optimization of existing industrial technologies. In the frame of this work the static and dynamic models of selected advanced membrane and/or chemical technologies or their parts will be developed using universal simulation programs. By the help of them and computer experiment the behavior of these technologies will be studied. Verification of developed models by experimental data will be implemented. Aim of the work is the improvement of economic and ecological technological parameters. The universal simulation programs from Aspen Technology will be used preferentially.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Mathematical modelling of the electrochemical systems

Mathematical modeling represents an extraordinary powerful tool for deeper understanding of the electrochemical units function and their subsequent optimization. Within the framework of this project the attention will focus on the mathematical description of the local potential and current density distribution. Subsequently the problem of the mass transfer in an electric field will be studied. The models formulated will be implemented to simulate systems with a practical impact.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Karel Bouzek

research field: Membrane applications

Application of ion selective membranes in the treatment of drinking and waste water

Electrochemical membrane processes are permanently growing area. Beside today standard applications like drinking water preparation from brackish water, this processes are suitable also for treatment of various waste and process water. It is mainly due its simplicity and high efficiency. The specific properties of membranes needs individual approach respecting the composition of treated water. The subject of proposed work is selection, design and optimization of suitable process for given water.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Martin Paidar, Ph.D.

Application of membranes for biogas treatment

Membrane processes are very perspective. In this work the membranes for purification of biogas from CO2 and others impurities will be developed and tested.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Mathematical modelling of chemical and membrane processes using universal simulation programs

Universal simulation programs introduce a tool suitable for design of new and optimization of existing industrial technologies. In the frame of this work the static and dynamic models of selected advanced membrane and/or chemical technologies or their parts will be developed using universal simulation programs. By the help of them and computer experiment the behavior of these technologies will be studied. Verification of developed models by experimental data will be implemented. Aim of the work is the improvement of economic and ecological technological parameters. The universal simulation programs from Aspen Technology will be used preferentially.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Membrane reactor for application in water gas shift reaction

Hydrogen is very important chemical raw material for many synthesis, refining or as a gas fuel. One step of hydrogen production is CO conversion by water vapour (WGS). It is equilibrium catalytic reaction and it has to take place in membrane reactor with continuous withdrawing of forming products. Scope of this work is development and testing of membrane reactors with membrane based on microporous material.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

Preparation and characterization of mixed matrix membranes for gas separation

Gas membrane separation represents one of the perspective and energy saving alternative with respect to the present separation processes (PSA, TSA etc.). In the frame of this work the mixed matrix membranes combining the perspective properties of the both, microporous and polymeric membranes, will be prepared and characterized. The microporous material e.g. ZIF-8, silicalite-1, ETS, FAU, TS-1, AFX, MOF will be used as filler and combined with polyimide matrix. The key issue of mixed matrix membranes preparation which needs to be solved is the adhesion and interface interactions of filler and polymer because of their effects on compactness and selectivity of membrane. The aim of this study is evaluation of different possibilities of microporous and polymer phase modifications with respect to the compactness of membranes and their selectivity and permeability in selected systems of hydrocarbons, CO2 and H2.

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vlastimil Fíla

research field: Photocatalysis

Composite materials/ coatings based on TiO2 and ZnO for photocatalytic processes in gaseous phase

The main aim of this work is the preparation of photocatalytic active composite materials based on TiO2 and ZnO and the determination of their adsorption and photocatalytic properties. The goal is to get the material having at the same time good adsorption properties and at the same time a high ability to remove unwanted volatile substances in the air. Part of the work will use the standard ISO tests for monitoring the kinetics of oxidation reactions (NOx, VOCs) on the surface of the prepared photocatalysts. The important part is the characterization of materials/coatings (XRD, SEM, BET, Raman spectroscopy) and further development of methods allowing the testing of functional properties of the prepared materials/coatings in air treatment.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Josef Krýsa

Hydrogen generation from water using solar light

The issue of this work is preparation of semiconductor layers on the TiO2, WO3 and Fe2O3 base for photo-electrochemical hydrogen production by decomposition of water. Different methods of preparation (sol gel, spraying, pyrolysis) will be used and the resulting films will be characterised (XRD, GDS, UV-VIS, BET, SEM) and their photo-electrochemical properties (open circuit potential, photocurrent) evaluated. The glass with conductive layer of tin oxide doped by fluorine will be utilized as a support. The influence of layer thickness, layer porosity and geometric arrangement will be also studied. The best layers (stability, high values of photocurrent) will be used for solar photo-electrochemical cell and its efficiency for water decomposition to hydrogen and oxygen by sunlight will be determined.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Josef Krýsa

Inactivation of microorganisms and removal of persistent pollutants in waters by advanced oxidation processes

Systems UV/hydrogen peroxide (either continuously added or generated in situ electrochemically) and UV/photocatalyst will be compared. Several gram positive Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and gram negative (Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus) microorganisms will be studied either separately or in the mixtures. All are commonly found in the waters and furthermore model well microorganisms (Pseudomonas …..and Staphylococcus……..) which are i) present often in the swimming pool waters ii) are more resistant to disinfectants or iii) create easily biofilms. Conditions of both processes will be optimised to achieve the highest efficiency. Processes will be used also for the removal of the model water pollutants. As a next step optimised systems will be applied for real waters.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Josef Krýsa

Self-cleaning and antibacterial coating based on TiO2 and ZnO

The main scope of this work is preparation of photocatalytic active coatings/ paints based on TiO2 a ZnO on the appropriate substrate (ceramics, glass, metals, facades, hydraulic binders) by different methods. The important part of the work is films characterization (XRD, SEM, Raman spectroscopy) and development of methods for testing photoactivity and hydrophilic and antibacterial properties of prepared layers. Studied parameters will be the methods of precursor deposition (dip-coating, spraying) and the influence of the binder in the coating and the substrate.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Josef Krýsa

research field: Water electrolysis

Alkaline water electrolysis for energy storage

Alkaline water electrolysis represents most developed process of electrolytic hydrogen production. For its use in energy storage systems it is necessary to modify its operational parameters for discontinuous run. Beside development of new electrocatalysts and ion selective membranes it is necessary to focus also on cell deign.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Karel Bouzek

High temperature water electrolysis

High temperature water electrolysis represents a modern technology closely related to the optimization of operational conditions of the traditional as well as novel high capacity power sources used nowadays to the stabilization of the electricity distribution grid. Stabilization requirement is caused by the strongly increasing capacity of the unstable renewable energy sources connected to the distribution grid.

Thesis supervisor: Doc. Ing. Martin Paidar, Ph.D.

Water electrolysis as a hydrogen source for the energetics

Water electrolysis represents an important part of the hydrogen economy considered nowadays as a promissing approach to the future securing of the human society with electrical energy. Industrial water electrolysis processes established today suffer from several disadvantages when considering its application in the field of energetics. It is mainly its low efficiency and flexibility. Therefore, this process is a subject of interest of numerous research laboratories arround the globe. Electrode reaction kinetics, suitable polymer electrolytes and overall process design represent the main issues studied. Corrosion stability of the individual construction materials is also an issue.

Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ing. Karel Bouzek