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Huge congratulations to Abdul Qayyum for his successful PhD thesis defense!


Mr Abdul Qayyum has successfully defended his PhD thesis. The reviewers of his PhD recommended the scientific council of Institute of Physical Chemistry, PAS for bestowing​‘distinguish’ stature to his thesis.

Your excellence, hard work, dedication and collaborative spirit have shone throughout this journey. Your achievement is remarkable and inspiring. Wishing you the very best as you embark on new endeavors.

Title of PhD thesis

Titania- based photocatalysts prepared by sonication in understanding the selective oxidation of lignin-inspired molecules to phenolics


Prof. Dr. Eng. Juan Carlos Colmenares Quintero

Reviewers of PhD thesis

Prof. Dr. Françoise Jerome (Institut de Chimie des Milieux et Matériaux de Poitiers — IC2MP, France)

-Prof. Dr. Janusz Ryczkowski (Department of Chemical Technology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland)

- Prof. Dr. Rajender S. Varma (US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)

Research of Abdul Qayyum

His research work explores catalytic transformation of lignin-inspired model compounds toward the corresponding high value phenolic compounds without using harsh experimental conditions.

Titania photocatalysts show great photocatalytic properties but have drawbacks like low porosity, fast recombination of electron-hole pairs and lower selectivity toward the targeted compound, which limit it application in the organic synthesis. Novel titania photocatalysts were synthesized using ultrasound to overcome limitations and enable selective conversion of lignin-inspired model compounds.

Depending the amplitude and frequency of the utilized ultrasonication, the characteristics features as well as the photo-oxidation performance of the synthesized TiO2photocatalysts can be tuned. Varying ultrasound frequencies and amplitudes were used in synthesis, compared to a photocatalyst synthesized without ultrasound irradiation and commercial benchmark P25. Characterization techniques like XRD, XPS, TEM, UVDRS, TGA, and nitrogen sorption were used to characterize the photocatalysts.

The synthesized photocatalysts were tested for additives-free conversion of lignin-based model compounds. The photocatalyst synthesized using low amplitude of low frequency showed best selective catalytic conversion of lignin-inspired model such as monoaromatic compound i.e. benzyl alcohol and β-O-4 linkage containing diaromatic compounds i.e. 2-pheonxy-1-phenylethanol to the corresponding phenolic compounds without addition of any oxidizing agent.

The energy demanding step such as calcination at high temperature was avoided for this research work. The synthesized photocatalysts were reusable without loss of reactivity and keeping the stable photocatalyst. Combining sono with photo had a positive catalytic impact, since the conversion of the lignin-inspired model compound was more selective and efficient.

Huge congratulations to Abdul Qayyum for his successful PhD thesis defense!
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