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TU Berlin

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Ewa Nowicka


"Methane and other short chain hydrocarbons have been a subject of studies for decades, as their coupling into longer hydrocarbons, thus higher value products offers a cheaper route to the production of fine chemicals and fuels. Noteworthy, it is catalysis that is essential for this transformation as it reduces the overall cost and time of the reaction. Therefore my project will focus on the design and development of catalytic material for oxidative coupling of methane in the presence of CO2."



Scientific Career

2016-2018: IPODI Fellow at TU Berlin      

2012-2016: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cardiff Catalysis Institute, Cardiff, UK (Group leader in project "After the Goldrush- Addressing Global Sustainability Challenges by Changing Perceptions in Catalyst Design", project funded by European Research Council)

2008-2012: PhD in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Cardiff Catalysis Institute, Cardiff, UK (Project funded by Exxon Mobil (New Jersey, USA), Title: Selective Oxidation of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

2007-2008: Erasmus LPP Internship, PharmaMAR, R&D Unit, Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, Spain

2002-2007: MSc Environmental Chemistry, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland


Prizes and awards

Young Scientist Award at 16th ICC China, 2016

Honorary Research Associate Cardiff University, 2016


Research interests

  • Catalyst design and preparation of supported metal nanoparticles
  • Catalytic selective oxidation processes: oxidation of alcohols, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, oxidative dehydrogenation of alkanes and coupling of methane
  • CO2 utilization for production of fuels and chemicals



Email: nowicka[at]tu-berlin.de




IPODI Research Project

Design and development of CeO2 based catalyst for oxidative coupling of alkanes with simultaneous utilization of CO2: from laboratory experiment to industrial process

Duration: 1 July 2016 - 30 June 2018

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schomäcker, Faculty II, Institut für Chemie

Abstract: Identifying new feedstock and processes for the production of bulk chemicals and fuels has always been an important goal for a sustainable society. Since the discoveries of shale gas, there is a renewed interest in the development of current and new technologies to convert short chain hydrocarbons into value added products. Oxidative coupling of alkanes (OCA), especially methane (OCM) is a potential route to achieve this, however, there are several technological challenges that need to be addressed. One of the greatest challenges in OCA is the over-oxidation of the coupled alkanes to un-desired CO and CO2. In light of increasing CO2 emissions, it is crucial to introduce processes which will utilize CO2, instead of producing it. A potential way to overcome this problem is to use CO2 as a mild oxidant to suppress the over-oxidation. However, in order to obtain economically feasible process an active, selective and stable catalyst should be designed and developed by combining existing knowledge with the recent achievements in modern surface science. In this project, we propose a bottom-up approach for designing catalyst for OCA/OCM by combining oxidizing power of CO2 with the exceptional catalytic properties of CeO2. Synthesis and modifications of CeO2 based material will be rationalized by several characterization tools, including advanced spectroscopic and microscopic methods. Evaluation of different CeO2 catalyst preparation methods, as well as addition of both basic and precious metals to CeO2 will be investigated. Influence of the reactions conditions and combination of oxidants on the catalyst activity will be also studied.



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