Graduate School

Materials as catalysts for water and air cleaning

This course is part of the programme:
Materials (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

The objective of this course is to provide students with comprehensive theoretical and practical knowledge on catalysts for air and water cleaning using modern heterogeneous catalysis.

Students acquire the necessary competences for the synthesis of catalysts in the synthesis laboratory, the correct choice of characterization methods for the prepared materials, for testing of prepared catalysts in the selected catalytic reactions and for the interpretation of the results.

Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Introduction to heterogeneous catalysis

1.1 Heterogeneous catalysis

1.2 Characteristicts of the catalysts for heterogeneous catalysis

1.3 Eficiency evaluation of the catalysts

1.4 Design of the catalyst

1.4.1 Synthesis

1.4.2 Catalytic test

1.4.3 Advanced characterization

1.5 Development of the catalyst

1.5.1 Laboratory scale

1.5.2. Industrial scale

2. Advanced oksidation processes for water cleaning

2.1 Catalysts and oxidants

2.1.1 Fenton type catalysts

2.2 Photocatalysts and UV/solar light

2.2.1 TiO2 composites as an example

3. Catalytic air cleaning

3.1 Catalyst for catalytic oxidation

3.1.1 Bi- and multi-metal catalyts working under room temperature

3.2 Catalyts for photocatalytic oxidation

3.2.1 TiO2 composites as an example



  • G. Ertel, H. Knozinger, F. Schuth, J. Weitkamp, Handbook of Heterogeneous Catalysis, Wiley, Weinheim, 2008.
  • E. Roduner, Understanding catalysts, TUTORIAL REVIEW ChemSocRev 2014.
  • Izbrane spletne strani in pregledni znanstveni članki za posamezna področja objavljeni v zadnjih petih letih/ Selected websites and review scientific articles on specific areas published in the last five years.


Project on the topic of a selected group of catalysts is submitted to the lecturer in a written form. Project is defended orally in an open discussion with professor and students. 50/50

Lecturer's references

Prof. dr. Nataša Novak Tušar is a group leader for catalysis at the Department for Inorganic Chemistry and Technology at the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana. She is additionally employed at the University of Nova Gorica as Associate Professor in Chemistry. Her current research focuses on development of new catalysts for improving manufacturing systems for energy and environmental technologies (production of chemicals and fuels from biomass and purification of water and air).

Nataša Novak Tušar received faculty degree in Chemical technology in 1991 and PhD in Chemistry in 2000 from the University of Ljubljana. Before PhD she was for one year employed in industry (DINOS company for recycling wastes) and one year at Fraunhofer institute for environmental chemistry (Fraunhofer Institut für Umweltchemie und Ökotoxikologie) in Schmallenberg, Germany. She was a post PhD researcher in 2003-2004 as an EU Individual Marie Curie Fellow at synchrotron ELETTRA and University of Trieste, Italy. Between 2010 and 2015 she was additionally employed at the Centre of Excellence for Low-Carbon Technologies (CONOT) in Ljubljana. She is a management committee member for Slovenia in EU COST action FP1306 (Valorisation of lignocellulosic biomass side streams for sustainable production of chemicals, materials and fuels using low environmental impact technologies 2014-2018) and EU COST action FP1306 TD1203 (Food waste valorisation for sustainable chemicals, materials and fuels (EUBis) 2012-2016).

Since 2015, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of ENMIX (European Nanoporous Materials Institute of Excellence) and since 2016, she has been a member of the Management Board of EFCATS (European Federation of Catalysis Societies)

2017 she was a chair of 2nd International Conference on New Photocatalytic Materials for Environment, Energy and Sustainability (NPM-2):!Akqn2OX4TYNIk5MAlEBx2Te1XOLbGg

Izbrane objave / Selected bibliography – Nataša Novak Tušar

1. ŠULIGOJ, Andraž, LAVRENČIČ ŠTANGAR, Urška, RISTIĆ, Alenka, MAZAJ, Matjaž, VERHOVŠEK, Dejan, NOVAK TUŠAR, Nataša. TiO [sub] 2-SiO [sub] 2 films from organic-free colloidal TiO [sub] 2 anatase nanoparticles as photocatalyst for removal of volatile organic compounds from indoor air. Applied catalysis. B, Environmental, ISSN 0926-3373. [Print ed.], May 2016, vol. 184, str. 119-131, ilustr. 0-S0926337315302459-main.pdf, doi: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2015.11.007. [COBISS.SI-ID 5823258]

IF = 9.45

2. BIRSA ČELIČ, Tadeja, GRILC, Miha, LIKOZAR, Blaž, NOVAK TUŠAR, Nataša. In situ generation of Ni nanoparticles from metal-organic framework precursors and their use for biomass hydrodeoxygenation. ChemSusChem, ISSN 1864-564X. Online izd., May 2015, vol. 8, iss. 10, str. 1703-1710., doi: 10.1002/cssc.201403300. [COBISS.SI-ID 5667866]

IF = 7.12

3. POPOVA, Margarita, SZEGEDI, Agnes, RISTIĆ, Alenka, NOVAK TUŠAR, Nataša. Glycerol acetylation on mesoporous KIL-2 supported sulphated zirconia catalysts. Catalysis science & technology, ISSN 2044-4753, Nov. 2014, vol. 4, iss. 11, str. 3993-4000., doi: 10.1039/C4CY00548A. [COBISS.SI-ID 5518362]

IF = 5.43

4. POPOVA, Margarita, RISTIĆ, Alenka, LAZAR, Karoly, MAUČEC, Darja, VASSILEVA, Mihaela, NOVAK TUŠAR, Nataša. Iron-functionalized silica nanoparticles as a highly efficient adsorbent and catalyst for toluene oxidation in the gas phase. ChemCatChem, ISSN 1867-3880, 2013, vol. 5, issue 4, str. 986-993, doi: 10.1002/cctc.201200562. [COBISS.SI-ID 5150746]

IF = 5.04

5. NOVAK TUŠAR, Nataša, MAUČEC, Darja, RANGUS, Mojca, ARČON, Iztok, MAZAJ, Matjaž, COTMAN, Magda, PINTAR, Albin, KAUČIČ, Venčeslav. Manganese functionalized silicate nanoparticles as a fenton-type catalyst for water purification by advanced oxidation processes (AOP). Adv. funct. mater. (Print), 2012, vol. 22, issue 4, str. 820-826., doi: 10.1002/adfm.201102361. [COBISS.SI-ID 4863514]

IF = 9.77

University course code: 3MAi07

Year of study: 1




  • Lectures: 30 hours
  • Exercises: 30 hours
  • Individual work: 210 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: english, slovene

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures. • exercises on synthesis and characterisation of catalysts for air and water cleaning, under supervision of the the lecturer responsible for the course. • presentation and interpreation of individual project results to other students in open discussion under supervision of the lecturer responsible for the course.