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Gitika Rani Saha

Catalysis 2023
Gitika Rani Saha, Speaker at Catalysis 2023
IITB-Monash Research Academy, India
Title : Tunable anchoring of metal nanoparticles on hard carbon supports for kinetically superior and selective hydrogenation of olefins


The multiphasic nature of the catalysts, reactants and products continues to be a major obstacle in realizing enhanced kinetics without compromising on the selectivity and durability of heterogeneous chemical catalysts. Conventional understanding has focused on improving the accessible surface area and overcoming the diffusional restrictions with simultaneous nanoengineering of the catalytic surface in order to overcome these challenges. Herein, we demonstrate an orthogonal, counter-intuitive approach of burying the catalyst below hard-carbon framework with high pore volume to achieve superior catalytic activity (conversion ? 99%) and selectivity (? 99%) towards mono-hydrogenation of styrene to ethylbenzene, at ambient pressure and 100°C temperature. Porosity engineered nanostructured hard carbon framework (NCF) exhibits short range graphitic ordering and long-range disorder to synergistically combine accessibility in surface area (936 m2 /g, average pore diameter < 1 nm) with pore volume (0.44 cm3 /g). Nanostructured platinum (Pt) catalysts (mean diameter ?3 nm) embedded within the NCF framework (PIN) exhibits 95% higher turnover frequency as compared to the state-of-art Pt/C catalyst. This is attributed to the ability of the open-ended framework to act as a reservoir for hydrogen and thus ensure sustained pseudo-first order kinetics for hydrogenation. Such engineered heterogeneous catalysts are reusable and can be subscribed with green matrices of chemical conversions established through the near ideal values of E-factor, Process Mass Intensity (PMI) and Carbon Efficiency (CE).


Gitika is currently pursuing her PhD at IITB-Monash Research Academy, India and working in the field of nanomaterials under the guidance of Prof. C. Subramaniam from IIT- Bombay and Prof. Alan Chaffee from Monash University, in industrial collaboration with BASF, India. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with specialization in Chemical Engineering. Following her Master’s, she worked as an Energy Manager at a building material company and looked after the efficient monitoring, process control and optimization of energy utilization in cement and ceramic plants. She has special interests in sustainable catalysis, energy optimization and unit operation. Apart from research, she also loves music, traveling and being part of various philanthropic activities.