PhD defense Max Werny: Probing the Morphology, Composition and Temperature of Olefin Polymerization Catalyst Particles with Microscopy and Spectroscopy

Congratulations to Dr. Max Werny for an excellent PhD defense. Max has successfully defended his PhD thesis, supervised by Prof. Bert Weckhuysen and Dr. Florian Meirer.

Max has used fluorescence, infrared, electron & X-ray microscopy to investigate the morphology & break-up of olefin polymerization catalysts. In his PhD thesis, Max describes how an analytical toolbox, consisting of various microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, was used to study the structure, composition, and temperature of industrial-grade silica-supported ethylene polymerization catalysts, such as supported metallocene-based and Ziegler-Natta catalyst materials. Both families of heterogeneous catalysts were characterized in the early stages of active site genesis and polymer formation to elucidate structure-activity-morphology correlations at the single particle level. The acquired insights can ultimately contribute to the optimization of established catalyst systems, thereby improving both the catalyst productivity and the product quality. With the recycling of polymers gaining momentum, the potential of the previously mentioned toolbox for the characterization of heterogeneous catalysts in the field of chemical polyolefin recycling is also discussed.

Max’s PhD thesis is available to read here.