UV-Vis spectroscopy for H2O2 concentration determination: flow injection analysis and measurement of samples

Job title: Hiwi (Auxiliary Scientist)
Supervisors: Till Peters (till.peters@kit.edu) and Mery Hernandez (mery.maya@kit.edu)

Background: At the IMVT there has been a great research interest for a long time in alternative synthesis routes of hydrogen peroxide in order to synthesize H2O2 in-situ in a decentralized and demand-oriented manner. This is an extremely flexible and environmentally friendly oxidant with many applications, e.g. in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries and in water treatment. It is highly selective and does not form harmful by-products such as chlorine-containing oxidants. The development of alternative synthesis routes for H2O2 is of great importance, as they can potentially be more environmentally friendly than the conventional anathraquinone process, which is only lucrative in a highly centralized manner and involves the transport of the highly concentrated product to the industrial consumer.
To this end, work is taking place at the IMVT on direct synthesis from oxygen and hydrogen, as well as hydrogen peroxide synthesis using microwave plasma technology.
Continuous concentration measurements are crucial in chemical processes to ensure process efficiency, quality, safety and environmental compatibility. They support research and development of new processes and products. They also replace the need for sampling and subsequent offline concentration measurements. In this regard, the titanyl sulfate method is a common method for quantitative determination of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentration. In this method, titanyl sulfate (Ti(SO4)2) is oxidized in the presence of H2O2 to form titanyl peroxocomplexes. The formation of these complexes leads to a characteristic color change that can be measured by UV-Vis spectroscopy at a wavelength of 409 nm.

Responsibilities: The Hiwi position focuses on the improvement of in-line or continuous H2O2 concentration determination by UV-Vis spectroscopy using the titanyl sulfate method. You will work closely with supervisors at the various facilities to jointly perform the following tasks:
- Prepare titanyl sulfate solutions for analysis.
- Assisting with laboratory work at the facilities and experimental runs.
- Measurement of samples taken offline for concentration determination.
- Improvement of existing UV-Vis measurement unit and setup of a new unit together with supervisors.
- Development of experimental protocols (possibly LabVIEW scripts) for inline analysis of H2O2 in real time.

Basic experience with laboratory work, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and LabVIEW is an advantage but not required. The position will allow students to work on an exciting and promising topic, learn hands-on laboratory and research skills in general, and contribute to the development of sustainable processes for the chemical industry. Working hours will be mutually agreed upon. There are possibilities to extend the working time beyond the semester or to write a thesis if interested.