Design of heterogeneous catalysts

Publication: ResearchPh.D. thesis – Annual report year: 2009

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The title of my PhD thesis is “Design of Heterogeneous Catalysts”. Three reactions have been investigated: the methanation reaction, the Fischer-Tropsch reaction, and the NH3-based selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NO. The experimental work performed in connection with the methanation reaction was inspired by a computational screening, suggesting that alloys such as Ni-Fe, Co-Ni, and Co-Fe should show superior activity to the industrially used nickel catalyst. Especially the Ni-Fe system was considered to be interesting, since such alloy catalysts should be both more active and cheaper than the Ni catalyst. The results from the screening were experimentally verified for CO hydrogenation, CO2 hydrogenation, and simultaneous CO and CO2 hydrogenation by bimetallic Ni-Fe catalysts. These catalysts were found to be highly active and selective. The Co-Ni and Co-Fe systems were investigated for CO hydrogenation. For both systems a maximum in catalytic activity was found for some of the bimetallic catalysts being superior to the monometallic catalysts. This resulted in volcano curves for all investigated systems. In the Fischer-Tropsch reaction promotion of cobalt catalysts with manganese was studied. Previously it has been shown that calcination of cobalt catalyst in a NO/He mixture resulted in improved catalytic activity compared to standard air calcined samples, since more homogenous cobalt particles with a narrow particle size distribution were formed. Unfortunately the C5+ selectivity decreased. Since Mn is known to improve C5+ selectivity the addition of this promoter, combined with NO calcination, was studied. The influence of parameters such as Co:Mn ratio, drying conditions, and reduction temperatures on the catalytic performance were investigated. The promotion strategy turned out to work well, and the best catalyst prepared had a C5+ yield almost a factor of two higher than a standard air calcined Co catalyst. In the NH3-SCR reaction it is desirable to develop an active and stable catalyst for NOx removal in automotive applications, since the traditionally used vanadium-based catalyst pose an environmental risk. The focus was put on iron-containing zeolite catalysts, since these recently have shown great potential as catalysts for the process. A number of different zeolites were compared. BEA was found to be the most active, thus focus was put on this material. Different preparation techniques were studied for conventional BEA zeolites with various iron content. These materials turned out to be very interesting, exhibiting high catalytic activity; in some cases they were even more active than the conventional vanadium-based catalyst.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateApr 2009
Place of publicationKgs. Lyngby, Denmark
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark (DTU)
Number of pages124
ISBN (print)5798000430266
StatePublished
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