The research activities of the thematic group “Scientific bases for synthesis and selection of heterogeneous catalysts” include preparation, characterization and catalytic activity tests of new heterogeneous catalysts both for scientific and industrial application. The group accomplishes experimental interdisciplinary research aimed at establishing relations between structure and catalytic activity. A strong emphasis is placed on the application of different synthesis routes for production of nanostructured materials with tailored properties.
In the 80’s new catalysts for fertilizer industry have been designed; the technologies for their production have been implemented in the industry and a number of patents have been patented. The pioneering investigations of low-temperature water gas shift reaction (WGSR) over gold catalysts have started in 1995. In latter period, significant efforts have been directed towards the exploration of nano-sized gold catalysts on different metal oxide supports (Fe2O3, TiO2, ZrO2, ÑåÎ2, CeO2 doped by rare earth and transition metals, mixed metal oxides), which have been shown to exhibit exceptional catalytic activity in reactions related to production and purification of hydrogen (WGSR, PROX) and environmental protection (oxidation of hydrocarbons, CO, NOx removal). New advanced materials as nanostructured mesoporous oxides - TiO2 and ZrO2, titanium oxide nanotubes and nanorods of cerium oxides have been synthesized and used as perspective supports of efficient catalysts.
The studies of gold catalysts have been published in 1 patent, more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and referred conference proceedings with a significant impact among the scientific community (more than 3000 citations) and have been presented at more than 150 national and international scientific forums.
The scientific team involved in research in joint projects under the program COST, NATO, national, bilateral and international projects with universities and academic institutes from Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Poland. Romania, Greece and China.