Tunable liquid metal complexes as catalysts for the model chemical and electrochemical processes

Duration: 2 July 2021 – 1 July 2024

Leader: Anna Chrobok


The aim of this project is to design modern, alternative materials with tunable catalytic properties based on liquid metal complexes for the model fine chemical production and electrochemical processes. The novelty of the project is focused on both, designing of modern materials with specified properties as well as on the presentation of their innovative applications. The constantly growing number of environmental regulations with regard to the safety and waste disposal have forced the development of sustainable catalytic methods for the fine chemicals production. The pursuit for new non-toxic, environmentally benign and safe to handle catalysts is an important goal of this project. On the other hand, rechargeable batteries are crucial to the EU energy management strategy. EU considers energy storage solutions as the key component in providing grid flexibility and supporting renewable energy integration in the energy system. Development of the next generation of electrolytes for Al-ion batteries is another goal of the project.

Two groups of liquid metal complexes based on ionic liquids (ILs) were selected for this task. The first group consists of solvate ionic liquids (SILs) which are a unique and niche group of compounds belongs to the ILs family. The development of SILs is dynamic, but still in its infancy. While SIL-based electrolytes for Li-, Na-, K-, and Mg-ion batteries are already described in the literature, the use of SILs based on Al is not known so far. In this project, we plan to incorporate cost-effective metal, like Al to the SILs structure to obtain promising candidate for the large-scale electrochemical energy storage systems.

The second group of liquid metal complexes used in this project are metallate ionic liquids. Ionic liquids are able to dissolve metal salts possessing the same anion, creating a new metal ion containing species (complex anion). The study will involve designing, fabrication and characterization of new materials which will be tested as catalysts in selected model chemical processes. Liquid metal complexes will be designed to serve as homogenous catalysts as well as will create the biphasic liquid/liquid systems or heterogeneous catalysts via immobilization of an active phase on the surface of solid carriers: multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) or inorganic oxide materials.

Grant no. UMO 2020/37/B/ST8/00693


National Science Centre Poland