Photocatalytic Oxidation Processes For A Cleaner Environment
Mentor: Jimenez Pindado, Gerardo (Tutor) / Tabernero Magro, Vanessa (Contacto 2)
Phone: (+34) 918854676
(+34) 918854458
University: Universidad de Alcalá
Partner Host Institution: IMDEA Energy - Photoactivated Processes Unit - Researcher Víctor de la Peña ( - 2nd year of applied research compulsory. This research line has been developed together with IMDEA Energy. The second year of applied research in IMDEA Energy is compulsory under this line.

Photocatalytic Oxidation Processes For A Cleaner Environment

In order to address the nowadays challenges faced by the Circular Economy frame, biomass is the most promising renewable carbon source alternative to oil and coal. In this raw material, terpenes are prominent molecules since they show double bonds able to be oxidized for giving rise epoxides, appealing building-blocks for the preparation of a wide variety of commodities as well as fine products. In addition, sulfide oxidation is currently of much interest because it is related with a new alternative for the desulfurization of fuels that allow to avoid the use of hydrogen. Then, getting the oxidation process in mild conditions and catalytically could be an interesting way of biomass transformation.

Furthermore, to address the challenges for a more energetically efficient world, the development of new materials able to make a more efficient use of energy is a very desirable prospect. Within this context, photocatalytic processes stand out for their high efficiency in the energy usage. In this project we aim to prepare hybrid materials that can behave as active photocatalysts for biomass oxidation.
To prepare this new type of material, the expertise of two different groups will be bring together. As such, the group in the University in Alcala has a strong experience in the tailoring of molecular catalysts for polymerization, hydrogenation and oxidation processes. On its side the groups form IMDEA Energía, have a strong experience in the development of both inorganic and organic semiconductors and hybrid materials with photocatalytic properties. In addition, their research activities are also focused on the development of photocatalytic processes related to energetic and environmental applications. These actions are completed with structure-reactivity relationship studies using a combination of in-situ characterizations tools and theoretical calculations.

Our specific facilities are fully equipped laboratories for the synthesis and characterization of the catalysts and for studying catalytic processes. In particular, the facilities we have are:

– A laboratory with all the necessary equipment for performing synthesis in air and under argon atmosphere, including two glove boxes.
– High pressure reactors, able to reach pressure up to 90 bar.
– Single crystal-X ray diffractometer.
– Spectroscopy of NMR, IR and VIS-UV. Mass spectrometry.
– GC and HPLC equipment.
– Transient absorption spectroscopy.
– Picosecond fluorescence.
– Near ambient pressure X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
– Potenciostat/Galvanostat and Impedance spectroscopy measurements.
– Liquid and gas phase photoreactors with several illumination sources.
– Gas chromatographs with different detectors (FID, TCD, mass spectrometry) to analyse the reactions products.

Departament: Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry
Research Group: COMORPROCA
More Information:
Relevants projects on the area: CTQ2014-58270-R; Title: Transformation of pollutants atmospheric in products of industrial interest with new catalytic systems .; Entity funding: MINECO; Principal investigator: Marta E. González Mosquera and Gerardo Jiménez; Start date - end date: 01/01/2015 to 06/30/2018
Relevants publications on the area: 1.- M. Ventura, V. Tabernero, T. Cuenca, B. Royo, and G. Jiménez, Cyclopentadienyl–Silsesquioxane Titanium Catalysts: Factors Affecting Their Formation and Activity in Olefin Epoxidation with Aqueous Hydrogen Peroxide, Eur. J. Inorg. Chem. 2016, 2843-2849.
2.- I. Reviejo, V. Tabernero, M. E. G. Mosquera, J. Ramos, T. Cuenca, and G. Jiménez, Chiral Titanium(IV) Complexes Containing Polydentate Ligands Based on α‐Pinene. Catalytic Activity in Sulfoxidation with Hydrogen Peroxide, Organometallics 2018, 37, 3437-3449.