Synthesis and analysis of Pd-Sn/TiO2 catalysts for hydrogen peroxide direct synthesis and reaction cascades with H2O2-dependent enzymes.

Job type: student assistant
Contact: Peters, Till (; Aneta Pashkova (
Institutes: IMVT (KIT), DECHEMA Research Institute
Locations: Karlsruhe (KIT), Frankfurt am Main (DFI)
Start: a.s.a.p.


The use of enzymes in industrial processes has gained considerable importance in recent years. Peroxygenases in particular, such as UPO derived from Agrocybe aegerita, have proven to be extremely versatile biocatalysts. However, these enzymes are heavily dependent on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is expensive and environmentally harmful to produce. Therefore, the development of sustainable production methods for H2O2 is of great importance. With decentralized systems for direct synthesis from hydrogen and oxygen, H2O2 can be produced in-situ on demand. The danger of explosions of the hydrogen/oxygen gas mixtures can be contained with the help of micro-process technology. To advance research in this field, the three partners consisting of the IMVT (KIT), the DECHEMA Research Institute (Frankfurt) and the Technical University of Central Hesse (Gießen) have joined forces.

This work aims to investigate the direct synthesis of H2O2 as a sustainable option for the supply of UPO enzymes, producing, characterizing and comparing bimetallic supported catalysts of palladium and tin in different mass percentages with conventional catalysts. Subsequently, as part of a master's thesis, the catalysts will be batch tested in a chemical enzymatic reaction cascade at DFI. This is an important step towards promoting environmentally friendly and efficient chemical as well as enzyme-based reaction cascades and is thus an exciting interface between chemical engineering and biotechnology.




- Synthesis of bimetallic supported catalysts: development and optimization of state-of-the-art catalysts for direct H2O2 synthesis using suitable support materials and metal combinations of Pd and Sn on TiO2. (at KIT)

- Productivity determination in the flow in the fixed bed reactor: Investigation of the catalyst performance in the microstructured fixed bed reactor, including the determination of the H2O2 synthesis performance as well as the degradation of H2O2 also taking place on the catalyst and the catalyst lifetime. (at KIT)

- Characterization of the catalysts: Analysis of the structural and chemical properties of the prepared catalysts using various analytical methods. (at KIT and DFI)

- Productivity determination in batch: Investigation of the catalyst performance in batch in glass reactors under conditions for enzyme catalysis. (at DFI)

- Chemical enzymatic reaction cascade: Performance of the reaction cascade with peroxygenase and bimetallic catalyst. (at DFI)

- Good knowledge of inorganic chemistry and catalysis is desirable but not required.
- Interest in enzymatic reactions and sustainable chemical processes
- Independent and structured work
- Ability to work in a team and reliability
- Willingness and possibility to commute between Karlsruhe and Frankfurt

Application: Interested students are asked to contact Till Peters or Aneta Pashkova. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or questions.
The position offers the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary research environment in both Karlsruhe and Frankfurt am Main and to make an important contribution to the development of sustainable and novel chemoenzymatic catalytic processes. We look forward to receiving your applications.