Dr. Rachit Khare

Post-Doctoral Student


Catalysis Research Center and Chemistry Department

Technische Universität München

Lichtenbergstraße 4 85747 Garching, Germany




2016-present Postdoctoral student at Lehrstuhl II für Technische Chemie, Technische Universität München (Prof. Johannes A. Lercher)
2011 - 2016PhD in Chemical Engineering at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA (Prof. Aditya Bhan)
2007-2011 Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India



Increasing global energy demand as well as increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are two major challenges faced by the world today and need to be addressed immediately. A promising solution to these problems is the photocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to chemicals such as methanol, which can be subsequently converted to fuels utilizing already developed technologies such as the methanol-to-hydrocarbons (MTH) conversion technology. We focus our efforts on synthesizing and extensively characterizing novel photocatalysts that can not only absorb sunlight in the visible region of the solar spectrum but at the same time selectively convert carbon dioxide to methanol under ambient reaction conditions. We also focus on elucidating the mechanism and determining the reaction kinetics of carbon dioxide reduction on metal surfaces. Finally, we also work towards developing novel reactors that are capable of performing in situ and operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy (in collaboration with Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron) and infrared spectroscopy measurements during photocatalytic and photoelectrocatalytic reactions.

We currently have the following projects to offer to interested bachelors/masters students:


Photocatalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to fuels: This project will involve synthesis and characterization of graphitic carbon nitride based photocatalysts. The synthesized catalysts will be subsequently tested to determine their activity and selectivity towards carbon dioxide conversion to methanol.


A mechanistic investigation of carbon dioxide reduction to methanol on metal surfaces: This project will focus on understanding the mechanism and determining the kinetics of carbon dioxide reduction on metals such as Cu, Au, and Pt, supported on titania or silica, using a batch autoclave capable of reacting under high pressure and temperature conditions.


Synthesis and characterization of novel photocatalysts active for carbon dioxide reduction: The focus of this project will be to synthesize single-atom bimetallic catalysts capable of converting carbon dioxide to methanol with high selectivity and activity. The synthesized catalysts will be characterized before being tested for their efficacy towards the desired reaction.


Photoelectrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to methanol: We will synthesize and test graphitic carbon nitride based photocatalysts using our newly designed photoelectrochemical reactor.


Rachit Khare, Zhaohui Liu, Yu Han, Aditya Bhan. “A mechanistic basis for the effect of aluminum content on ethene selectivity in methanol-to-hydrocarbons conversion on HZSM-5” Journal of Catalysis 348 (2017) 300 – 305.

Rachit Khare, Sukaran S. Arora, Aditya Bhan. “Implications of cofeeding acetaldehyde on ethene selectivity in methanol-to-hydrocarbons conversion on MFI and its mechanistic interpretation” ACS Catalysis 6 (2016) 2314 – 2331.

Rachit Khare, Aditya Bhan. “Mechanistic studies of methanol-to-hydrocarbons conversion on diffusion-free MFI samples” Journal of Catalysis 329 (2015) 218 – 228.

Rachit Khare, Dean Millar, Aditya Bhan. “A mechanistic basis for the effects of crystallite size on light olefin selectivity in methanol-to-hydrocarbons conversion on MFI” Journal of Catalysis 321 (2015) 23 – 31.

Samia Ilias, Rachit Khare, Andre Malek, Aditya Bhan. “A descriptor for the relative propagation of the aromatics- and olefins-based cycles in methanol-to-hydrocarbons conversion in H-ZSM-5” Journal of Catalysis 303 (2013) 135 – 140.