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Press Release

Press Release

Doctoral Thesis on the Mechanistic Insight in the Direct Synthesis and Application of Hydrogen Peroxide

Ole Reinsdorf

M.Sc. Ole Reinsdorf’s doctoral thesis in Industrial Chemistry and Reaction Engineering will be put forth for public defence at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Åbo Akademi University.

The thesis is entitled Hydrogen peroxide as green oxidant: mechanistic insight in the direct synthesis and application.

The public defence of the doctoral thesis takes place on friday 14 July 2023 at 1PM in auditorium Argentum, Aurum Building, Henrikinkatu 2, Turku. Gruppenleiter Dr. Sven Reichenberger, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany will serve as opponent and Academy Professor Tapio Salmi, Åbo Akademi University, as custos.


Hydrogen peroxide has established itself as a green and environmentally friendly alternative to classic oxidants, due to its high oxidation potential and the absence of toxic by-products during usage. Hydrogen peroxide is mainly produced via the anthraquinone process, which struggles with high operating costs making it not viable for smaller scale production. The direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide gives a less expensive alternative for small-scale production. However, the mechanism of this exciting reaction is not fully understood.

The first topic of this doctoral thesis is the investigation of the mechanism of the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide with a combination of transient and spectroscopic methods. With these methods, it was possible to directly detect the reaction intermediates on the catalyst surface. These observations revealed a direct involvement of the solvent molecules in the synthesis reaction as co-catalysts.

Furthermore, the thesis deals with the application of hydrogen peroxide as a selective oxidant in the upgrading of biomass derived molecules, for example oxidation of glucose to gluconic acid, which has wide applications in alimentary, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. In this part of the work, several solid catalysts were synthesized and the dependence of the oxidation reaction rate on the structures of the applied catalysts was revealed.


Ole Reinsdorf was born in 1995 Neubrandenburg, Germany. He can be reached by email on ole.reinsdorf@abo.fi.

The doctoral thesis can be read online through the Doria publication archive.

Click here for a press photo of the doctoral student.