Friedrich Wilhelm Award 2021 for Jeroen T. Vossen

Award for outstanding master thesis

Jeroen T. Vossen with rector Ulrich Rüdiger © photo: Andreas Schmitter

At the end of November, Jeroen T. Vossen was awarded the Friedrich Wilhelm Prize 2021 at a ceremony for his outstanding achievement in his master's thesis.

Jeroen T. Vossen is a PhD student in the Multiphase Catalysis group of PD Dr. Andreas Vorholt in the department of Prof. Leitner and wrote his master thesis entitled "Hydroformylation and Aldol Condensation in Multiphasic Systems" at RWTH Aachen University.

The Friedrich Wilhelm Prize of RWTH Aachen University is awarded by the Friedrich Wilhelm Foundation. The foundation was established in 1865 by the Aachener und Münchener Beteiligungsgesellschaft in the name of Crown Prince Friedrich-Wilhelm. This prize is awarded annually for outstanding final theses. One master's student, one doctoral student and one post-doctoral student from each faculty receive this honor.


About the master thesis of Jeroen T. Vossen

Hydroformylation and Aldol Condensation in Multiphasic Systems

Tandem catalytic systems allow for a more efficient reaction through the integration of two processes in one reactor. This reduces investment costs as well as operational costs for example by savings in heating and cooling. By a combination of the hydroformylation of olefins, a consecutive Aldol condensation reaction of the aldehydes, and potentially a hydrogenation to the saturated aldol product, substrates for example for the synthesis of plasticizer alcohols were produced efficiently. The selectivity towards the desired product could be adjusted by changing the reaction temperature. Rh/sulfoXantphos was used as a hydroformylation and hydrogenation catalyst, while sodium hydroxide was used for the Aldol condensation. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was used as a green solvent to form a biphasic reaction system for a successful catalyst recycling. Different reaction parameters were investigated and a possible explanation for the phase behaviour of the system was established.

Corresponding Publication: M. Strohmann, J. T. Vossen, A. J. Vorholt, W. Leitner, Green Chemistry 2020, 22, 8444-8451.