Below you will find the current job offers of our working group.
Bachelor and Master Theses
Development of mass spectrometric methods for the characterization of polyoxometalates
|Analytical chemistry / inorganic chemistry
For the sustainable production of platform chemicals from biomass, new catalyst materials are required. The substance class of polyoxometalates (POMs) offers promising candidates for such applications. POMs are molecular clusters of transition metals (usually Mo or W) and oxo ligands (O2-). In order to achieve the desired catalytic activity, the transition metal of the POM framework can be replaced by other transition metals. These transition-metal substituted POMs (TMS-POMs) are subject to a dissociation equilibrium in solution, in which individual metal ions are dissolved out of the POM and so-called lacunary POMs, which have a gap, are formed. Since TMS-POMs are mainly used as homogeneous catalysts in solution, knowledge of these dissociation reactions is very important for catalytic applications.
We would now like to use mass spectrometric methods to confirm the successful substitution on the one hand and to investigate the described equilibria in solution on the other hand. As part of your Bachelor's thesis, you can support us by trying out different types of sample preparation, carrying out ESI-MS measurements with different parameters, and interpreting the results under our guidance. You will have the opportunity to get to know the exciting substance class of polyoxometalates and familiarize yourself with modern analytical methods of mass spectrometry.
Investigation of a new catalyst based on cerium oxide for the valorization of biomass
|Bachelor Thesis / Research Internship
|4 weeks, from now on
In close cooperation with industrial and academic partners, our research group (AG Albert) is working on the substitution of fossil base chemicals with chemical base materials based on renewable raw materials. Innovative processes and reactions offer great potential for generating these. Currently, only a few of these processes exist that industrially produce sustainable platform chemicals from biomass. Various catalyst concepts are being developed to expand our knowledge of the catalytic conversion of biomass.
Within the framework of this research internship, novel Ceroxide-based molecular clusters will be investigated for their catalytic activity in various reactions. For this purpose, different concepts of chemical reaction engineering will be applied. These can be different reactor types / equipment, as well as heterogeneous and homogeneous driving modes of the reactions. Exemplary reactions could be the transesterification of fatty acid esters and methanol to FAME (fatty acid methyl ester), relevant for biodiesel production, or dehydration reactions, relevant for platform chemicals. Subsequently, the reaction products will be evaluated qualitatively with respect to their products and distribution and the suitability for the different reactions will be validated.
Bundesstraße 45, Büro D135
Tel: +49 40 42838-4285
Synthesis and Isolation of POMs with various Cations
Inorganic and technical chemistry
The research group led by Prof. Albert is dedicated to advancing sustainable alternatives to fossil ressources, specifically focusing on converting lignocellulosic biomass into valuable platform chemicals. In collaboration with industrial and academic partners, the goal is to establish lignocellulosic biomass as a cost-effective alternative to traditional fossil ressources.
A pivotal project within the research group involves synthesizing formic acid (FA) from biomass using Polyoxometalate Catalysts (POMs). POMs are inorganic compounds composed of metal (commonly molybdenum or tungsten) and oxygen, featuring polyanionic clusters typically in the form of MOx polyhedra. These clusters are interconnected through edges, corners, and occasionally faces, with Keggin and Wells-Dawson structures being of particular significance.
The Master's thesis focuses on the development of POM catalysts for sustainable processes, emphasizing close collaboration within an interdisciplinary research team to advance the synthesis and optimization of POM catalysts. Specifically, this thesis emphasizes the isolation and optimization of purification methods for the synthesized POM catalysts (e.g. extraction or ion exchange), with a focus on achieving enhanced purity. Aside from POM synthesis, you will contribute to the development of effective procedures, actively conducting and documenting isolation and purification processes.
Furthermore, the thesis involves the characterization of synthesized POM catalysts using various analytical methods, including ICP-OES, XRF, XRD, FT-IR, Raman spectroscopy, and TGA. You will actively participate in data collection and interpretation, preparing results for research documentation.
In essence, this Master's thesis offers an opportunity to actively contribute to sustainable catalysis research, encompassing the synthesis, purification, and characterization of POM catalysts for the conversion of biomass into valuable chemicals.
Should anyone be interested in this master's thesis, feel free to reach out for more details – just drop me a message!
Post-Docs and PhDs
Research Associate for the Project SFB 1615 - SMART Reactors
Contact person: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jakob Albert (jakob.albert"AT"uni-hamburg.de)
Designed for: PhD
Duties include academic services in the project named above. Research associates may also pursue independent research and further academic qualifications.
One of the current biggest challenges of our society is the future supply of energy and basic chemicals based on renewable resources. A sustainable and adaptable availability of energy resources forms the basis for an advanced industrial society of the future.
The Albert research group, in close collaboration with industrial and academic partners, focuses on substituting fossil-based basic chemicals with chemical feedstocks derived from renewable resources.
To strengthen our scientifi c team, we are seeking a committed and highly qualifi ed Chemical Engineer, Process Engineer, or Technical Chemist.
Research activities will focus on the conceptual design, construction and commissioning of high-pressure plants as well as the safe operation and supervision of fully continuous miniplants. Within the framework of several projects, we are planning and operating various multiphase reactors, which are equipped, among other things, with novel reactor concepts (jet loop reactors) and recycling units (e.g. membrane separation). The successful commissioning and characterization of the miniplants will enable the transition from batch to continuous operation. Reaction engineering studies to determine the infl uence of various process parameters on reactor performance and space-time yield will be performed using various model reactions. Reaction systems that enable the substitution of fossil base chemicals by chemical feedstocks based on renewable raw materials will be specifi cally investigated. The establishment of diff erent methods for the analysis of liquid and gas phase products is also part of the advertised position.
Scientific theses and internships
We offer topics for research and master or bachelor theses at irregular intervals.
Please contact us without obligation if you are interested:
Dr. Maximilian Poller (maximilian.poller"AT"uni-hamburg.de)
We are regularly looking for student assistants to support our scientific staff.
Please contact us without obligation if you are interested:
Dr.-Ing. Dorothea Voß (dorothea.voss"AT"uni-hamburg.de)