PhD defence

Greener Starch Oxidation: Exploring challenges in designing catalytic processes for polydisperse feedstocks

PhD candidate TM (Tim) Hoogstad
Promotor prof.dr. JH (Harry) Bitter
Organisation Wageningen University, Agricultural Biosystems Engineering

Mon 23 October 2023 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500
Room Auditorium


Starch oxidation is currently performed on an industrial scale with sodium hypochlorite as oxidant, however, the use of hypochlorite has undesired side reactions and produces waste. Therefore, a greener solution is sought. Heterogeneous catalysis of starch with oxygen as oxidant has the potential to improve the sustainability of the current process, but several challenges arise in the design of a heterogenous catalyst for this process. The large molecular size and wide size distributions in starch influence several steps in the catalytic process. These influences are not well understood, and current kinetic models do not include these effects. In this thesis the effects of substrate size and size distributions on the different steps of the catalytic cycle were investigated and kinetic models that describe these influences were developed. This thesis thereby aids in the design of heterogeneous catalyst for the conversion of starch, and similar large, polydisperse feedstocks.