The multilateral programmes are the flagships of our research consortium, and will consist of ~ 5-8 PhD projects. The aim is to foster long-term research options and build fundamental knowledge in key areas of research within ARC CBBC. In each flagship, scientists from AkzoNobel, BASF and Shell participate next to various principal investigators (PIs) selected to participate within ARC CBBC. At this moment, we have three flagships in the make.
1) Small molecule activation
Within this programme we will deal with pyrolytic conversion routes for methane. New conversion routes exploiting methane as a chemical building block will be explored in order to produce valuable chemicals, such as olefins, as well as more complex materials based on carbon. For these two conversion routes, we will develop new catalysts and follow the conversion processes over several length scales at elevated temperatures and pressures making use of advanced characterization methods.
2) Fundamentals of catalysis
This programme aims to contribute lowering energy consumption in the chemical industry, as well as reducing the use of precious metals for key chemical processes. Firstly, we will address the fundamental science behind heterogeneous catalyst preparation routes as currently used in industry, based on e.g. impregnation, drying and calcination, and nucleation and growth. Furthermore, we will explore some novel smart routes for future catalyst materials. The focus will be on bi-metallic solid catalysts. The multidisciplinary team assembled aims to study the catalyst preparation of supported alloyed metal nanoparticles with high control of homogeneity, size, distribution and composition.
3) Coatings and functional materials
The scope of this programme will be on suitable chemical building blocks for paints and lacquers of the future. Within this context, bio-based chemicals starting from e.g. lignin and chitin, will be used for the design of these coatings. Furthermore, new reactions and related homogeneous catalysts will be explored to allow forming coating films and polymer cross-linking. To enable this, a multi-disciplinary team has been assembled consisting of e.g. organic chemists, polymer chemists as well as people knowledgeable in the field of materials characterization.