Materials as catalysts for hydrocarbon converios reactions

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

Objectives and competences

The main goal of the course is to give the students theoretical and practical knowledge of contemporary catalytic processes for hydrocarbon conversion (selective partial oxidation and dehydrogenation) and emerging catalytic pathways for CO2 valorization.




  • Fundamentals of heterogeneous catalysis.
  • Modern synthesis techniques for preparation of mofphologically homogeneous and defined catalytic nanomaterials.
  • Introduction of different functions which metallic and oxide nanoparticles play in catalytic reactions of CO2 activation and hydrocarbon conversion reactions.
  • Design of catalytic functions of multicomponent katalysts.
  • Most widely employed characterization techniques (spectroscopic, structural and based on chemisorption) for analysis of catalytic nanomaterials.
  • Evaluation of catalytic behaviour through the established descriptors (conversion, selectivity, deactvation, etc.).
  • Reactor systems used in heterogeneous catalysis along with their benefits and drawbacks.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Understanding basic principles of heterogeneous catalysts functioning.
  • Catalyst design for target reactions involving hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide (selection of active components and reaction conditions).
  • The use of an appropriate synthesis method for obtaining desired structure and morpholgy of the catalytic material.
  • Catalyst characterization to the extent where correlations between structural and chemical properties with catalytic behavious is possible and reliable (active site identification, origin of selectivity and deactivation).


  • Fundamental Concepts in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Jens K. Nørskov, Felix Studt, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Thomas Bligaard, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2014.
  • Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy, George A. Olah, ‎Alain Goeppert, ‎G. K. Surya Prakash, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2009.
  • CO2 reforming of CH4, Bradford, M.C.J., Vannice, M.A. Catalysis Reviews - Science and Engineering, 41 (1999) 1-42.
  • Synthesis of Solid Catalysts, K.P. de Jong (urednik/editor), Viley-VCH, Weinheim 2009.
    *Other literature provided by the lecturer.


Oral examination and oral defence of the topic related to the content of the lectures. Projects are submitted to the lecturer in a written form and defended orally in an open discussion with professor and students.

Lecturer's references

ADr. Petar Djinović Between 2013-2018 was group leader for heterogeneous catalysis engineering in the Department for Environmental sciences and engineering at the National Institute for chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia. His research interests are heterogeneous catalysis, more precisely synthesis, characterization and application of metallic and oxide nanomaterials as catalysts for efficient conversion of carbon dioxide e.g. syngas production via methane dry reforming reaction, CO2 hydrogenation to methane and hydrocarbon conversion reactions (dehydrogenation and selective oxidation).
He received his B.SC. in chemical engineering in 2006 from the Faculty for Chemistry and Chemical Technology at the University of Ljubljana. His scientific career began in 2006 as a PhD student at the National Institute of Chemistry in the Department for catalysis and chemical reaction engineering. In 2009-2010 he spent 6 months as a visiting student at the Politecnico di Torino (Turin, Italy) under the supervision of Prof. Vito Specchia. After obtaining his PhD degree in 2010 he continued his research career in the Departmant for environmental sciences and engineering at the National Institute of Chemistry. In 2012-2013 he spent 12 months as a post-doc researcher at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung under the supervision of Prof. Ferdi Schüth investigating catalytic methane to methanol and dimethyl ether conversion.
Since 2011 he collaborated on 7 international bilateral research projects.
He is a member of the organizing committee for the EAAOP6 (6th European Conference on Environmental Applications of Advanced oxidation processes) conference which will be organized in 2019 in Portorož, Slovenia (

  1. DJINOVIĆ, Petar, OSOJNIK ČRNIVEC, Ilja Gasan, ERJAVEC, Boštjan, PINTAR, Albin. Influence of active metal loading and oxygen mobility on coke-free dry reforming of Ni-Co bimetallic catalysts. Applied catalysis. B, Environmental, ISSN 0926-3373. 2012, vol. 125, 259-270. [COBISS.SI-ID 5011482]
    Impact factor: 9,4

  2. ZABILSKY, Maxim, DJINOVIĆ, Petar, TCHERNYCHOVA, Elena, TKACHENKO, Olga P., KUSTOV, Leonid M., PINTAR, Albin. Nanoshaped CuO/CeO2 materials: effect of the exposed ceria surfaces on catalytic activity in N2O decomposition reaction. ACS catalysis, 2015, vol. 5, 5357-5365. [COBISS.SI-ID 5747482]
    Impact factor: 10,6

  3. VASILIADES, Michalis A., MAKRI, M.M., DJINOVIĆ, Petar, ERJAVEC, Boštjan, PINTAR, Albin, EFSTATHIOU, Angelos M. Dry reforming of methane over 5 wt. % Ni/Ce1−xPrxO2−δ catalysts: performance and characterisation of active and inactive carbon by transient isotopic techniques. Applied catalysis. B, Environmental, 2016, vol. 197, 168-183. [COBISS.SI-ID 5888794]
    Impact factor: 9,4

  4. ŽERJAV, Gregor, ARSHAD, Muhammad Shahid, DJINOVIĆ, Petar, JUNKAR, Ita, KOVAČ, Janez, ZAVAŠNIK, Janez, PINTAR, Albin. Improved electron-hole separation and migration in anatase TiO2 nanorod/reduced graphene oxide composites and their influence on photocatalytic performance. Nanoscale, 2017, vol. 9, 4578-4592. [COBISS.SI-ID 30337063]
    Impact factor: 7,7

  5. TERŽAN, Janvit, DJINOVIĆ, Petar, ZAVAŠNIK, Janez, ARČON, Iztok, ŽERJAV, Gregor, SPREITZER, Matjaž, PINTAR, Albin. Alkali and earth alkali modified CuOx/SiO2 catalysts for propylene partial oxidation: what determines the selectivity?. Applied catalysis. B, Environmental, ISSN 0926-3373. 2018, vol. 237, str. 214-227, doi: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2018.05.092. [COBISS.SI-ID 31445799]
    Impact factor: 14,2