PhD student G.T. Kasun Kalhara Gunasooriya (EA11) wins Catalysis Science and Technology Poster Award

(07-11-2018) G.T. Kasun Kalhara Gunasooriya from the Laboratory for Chemical Technology (EA11), won the Catalysis Science and Technology Poster Award at the 7th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

During the congress, doctoral student Kasun Kalhara Gunasooriya presented his poster titled ‘Modeling–Guided Design of Catalytic Processes’. In this poster, he illustrated the success of this approach by showing how the activity of supported sub−1−nm Pt clusters can be controllably manipulated by tuning the carrier concentration of the TiO2 support, known as the Schwab effect and introduced new mechanistic concepts for Fischer−Tropsch synthesis (FTS). FTS transforms synthesis gas, a mixture of CO and H2 derived from natural gas, coal, biomass and even CO2, to long-chain hydrocarbons and water.

Kasun Gunasooriya: “Catalysts are the workhorses of chemical transformations. Catalyst design and kinetic modeling often start from molecular−scale hypotheses about the reaction mechanism, the structure of the active sites and the nature of the rate and selectivity determining steps. Computational catalysis has become a crucial tool to analyze molecular−scale concepts and elucidate their electronic origin. In combination with characterization and experimental kinetic validation, insights gained from computational catalysis can be translated all the way to the industrial scale.”
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