Prof. Eric D. Wachsman
Director, Maryland Energy Innovation Institute
William L. Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research
University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Abstract: Membrane reactor technology holds the promise to circumvent thermodynamic equilibrium limitations by in-situ removal of product species, resulting in improved chemical yields. Recent advances in mixed-conducting oxide-membrane technology present the possibility for a dramatic reduction in the cost of converting petroleum, coal and biomass derived feed stocks to hydrogen and other “value added” hydrocarbons. We have developed novel membrane reactor technology, based on high temperature proton conductors, that can convert a wide range of hydrocarbons to pure H2, and syngas for synthesis of liquid fuels and chemical feed stocks. By simultaneous H2 permeation and catalysis, we have demonstrated the ability to increase water gas shift yields >70% over thermodynamic limitations. Similarly, we have demonstrated increases in steam reforming yields, and the ability to reform CH4 with CO2.
More recently we have developed single-step gas to liquid reactors that convert natural gas to C2+ products with high yields and no unwanted oxidation byproducts. The direct utilization of CH4 and CO2 to simultaneously produce C2+ hydrocarbons (C2 and aromatics) and syngas (CO and H2) on opposite sides of a mixed protonic-electronic conducting SrCe0.7Zr0.2Eu0.1O3-δ membrane reactor is demonstrated. On one side (interior) of the membrane reactor, direct non-oxidative methane conversion (DNMC) over an iron/silica catalyst produces C2+ hydrocarbons and H2. On the other side (outer surface) of the membrane, permeated H2 (driving the DNMC reaction) reacts with a CO2 sweep gas to form CO and water via the reverse water gas shift (RWGS) reaction. This novel single H2-permeable membrane reactor simultaneously addresses both reduction of greenhouse gas (CO2 and CH4) emissions as well as production of value-added hydrocarbon products (C2+, CO, and H2) with in situ gas separation.
Bingjun Xu, University of Delaware
Abstract: Heterogeneous catalysis is one of the pillars of the energy and
chemical industries, and a central science in driving the
accelerating transition to a carbon neutral future.
Understanding catalytic processes mediated by solid surfaces
on the molecular level holds the key to catalyst design, but is
challenging due to the complexity of the local environment in
which chemical transformations occur. In this lecture,
encapsulation of metal nanoparticles in zeolite crystals as an
effective catalyst architecture to mediate selective tandem
upgrading of biomass derived feedstocks is discussed in the
context of two case studies. The sequence to which substrates
are exposed to different active sites and the distribution of
metal and acid sites in zeolite crystals are shown to play decisive roles in determining selectivity
and stability of catalysts.
The Catalysis Club of Philadelphia (CCP) is taking applications for the Theodore A. Koch Travel Award.
The award is sponsored in memory of T.A Koch in order to recognize and reward graduate student achievements in catalysis research. T.A. Koch (1925–2014) was a chemist who worked at DuPont, and spent his entire career developing chemical processes and bringing them from the benchtop to commercialization with marked creativity and tenacity. The award will provide financial support to a graduate student up to the amount of $1000 to attend a conference of his or her choice. The amount can be used to cover registration fees and/or travel expenses.
Eligibility: Graduate students that are members of the CCP and have paid the annual dues ($10). Selection will be based on potential impact of the travel award to the student’s career goals, financial need and overall merit. (The completed application form should not exceed three pages.)
The application form is due February 11th 2019, and the winner will be announced at our February 21st meeting.
Please send your applications to Eric Sacia (CCP Chair, email@example.com).
2018–2019 CCP Chair
Dr. Carmo Pereira
DuPont Clean Technologies
Abstract: Industrial reactors enable chemical transformations that may upgrade the quality of the feed, produce chemicals, and/or reduce process pollutants. The catalysts in these reactors are engineered to obtain the required (steady state) throughput of product over a certain time. In addition to throughput, there are additional commercialization constraints that involve cost, uptime, emissions, and project timing. The proper design of the catalyst and reactor often is key to the successful deployment of the process.
In addition to identifying the active site and the reaction mechanism, additional application development work is required to commercialize a catalyst. The active site must function within a range of operating conditions and in the presence of impurities that may impact activity and selectivity. Reactor pressure drop constraints can dictate the size and structure of the catalyst. The availability of active sites in a pellet is maximized by optimizing its size, shape and pore structure to minimize heat and mass transport limitations. The number of active sites in a catalyst may dramatically decrease with time due to poisoning, masking, sintering, or pore blockage. An understanding of the deactivation mechanism under operating conditions provides a basis for the reactor operating strategy and for sizing reactors that have a warranted life. A process flowsheet containing a useful reactor model may be subsequently value-engineered to cost-effectively meet the processing objective.
This talk will present several vignettes from the author’s experience where chemical reaction engineering methodologies were used to engineer industrial catalysts used in petrochemical, chemical, and environmental applications.
Despite some unforeseen and unsafe weather conditions that led to cancellations, there was still quite an impressive turnout leading to another successful CCP poster session this year! Some ~19 students/post-docs braved the weather and presented. For those who were not able to attend due to weather, we hope to see you (and better weather) next year. Whether you could attend or not, thanks to everyone for your commitment to making this another fantastic year for CCP!
Five winners were chosen based on crowd voting followed by individual judging by CCP officers. Each winner will receive a monetary reward and the overall winner is invited to give a talk at the annual CCP Symposium in Spring 2019.
2018 CCP Poster Session Winners
Natalia Rodriquez Quiroz
Left-to-right: Eric Sacia (CCP Chair), Yuan Cheng, Natalia Rodriquez Quiroz, Jennifer Lee, Elvis Ebikade, and Chao Lin. Congratulations to all the winners!
Prof. Eric A. Stach
University of Pennsylvania
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web:https://stachgroup.seas.upenn.edu/
Abstract: The past decade or so have seen a number of technological advances in the field of transmission electron microscopy that have dramatically enhanced both the utility and utilization of the instrument in the field of heterogeneous catalysis. These include aberration correction, enhanced detectors and improvements in simulation and analysis software. In this presentation, I will present several specific examples from both my own research and from others in the field to provide a general overview of the state of the art. In specific, I will describe the limits of spatial, spectroscopic and temporal energy resolution, and demonstrate how one can perform both real time and operando measurements do characterize the interrelationships between catalyst structure and catalyst function. Through the presentation, I will emphasize how these techniques are being implemented at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania and how they are thus accessible to members of the Catalyst Club of Philadelphia.
October 2018 — F.G. Ciapetta Award Lecture
Dr. Teh C. Ho
Hydrocarbon Conversion Technologies
E-mail: , Web:
Abstract: Hydrodesulfurization catalysts have two types of active sites for hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis reactions. While hydrogenation sites are more active for desulfurizing refractory sulfur species, they are more vulnerable to organonitrogen inhibition than hydrogenolysis sites. In contrast, hydrogenolysis sites are less active for desulfurizing refractory sulfur species but are more resistant to organonitrogen inhibition. This dichotomy is exploited to develop an ultra-deep hydrodesulfurization stacked-bed reactor comprising two catalysts of different characteristics. The performance of this catalyst system can be superior or inferior to that of either catalyst alone. A theory is developed to predict the optimum stacking configuration for maximum synergies between the two catalysts. The best configuration provides the precise environment for the catalysts to reach their full potentials, resulting in the smallest reactor volume and maximum energy saving. Model predictions are consistent with experimental results. A selectivity-activity diagram is developed for guiding the development of stacked-bed catalyst systems.