September 17, 2021

Imran Abbas – ESR 1

Imran Abbas was born in Bhakkar, a semi-desert agricultural district of Punjab Province of Pakistan, in 1992. He studied Chemical Engineering at University of the Punjab, Lahore (2010-2014) and joined national power transmission company as a research engineer. In 2016, he moved to Seoul for a master degree in Clean Energy and Chemical Engineering at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) & University of Science and Technology-UST (2016-2018). There, he worked to develop heterogeneous (thermo)catalysts primarily for CO2  hydrogenation to methanol. He returned to Pakistan and joined Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology as a lecturer where he taught undergraduate students Chemical Reaction Engineering, Heterogeneous Catalysis and Chemistry for Engineers.

Research Project
Production and characterization of novel CO2 hydrogenation thermo-catalysts based on bimetallic deposited clusters

My research project is based on the production and characterization of multi-metallic clusters to be used primarily as thermo-catalysts for CO2 conversion into valuable fuels and chemicals. I will focus under the supervision of Dr. Didier Grandjean and Prof. Ewald Janssens on the synthesis of composition and structure controlled multi-metallic clusters on various supports using state of the art Cluster Beam Deposition (CBD) techniques available at KU Leuven. The deposited clusters will then be tested for their catalytic activity in CO2 hydrogenation and the best catalyst systems and compositions will be identified. Electronic and structural properties of the active catalysts will be investigated using several (in situ) techniques such as synchrotron-based XAFS to unravel their structure-activity relationship. DFT modelling will be performed on the most promising system to get an insight into the mechanism of the reaction and the active site(s). Selected bimetallic systems will be upscaled in collaboration with Tear Coatings Ltd.