First International Conference on
Unconventional Catalysis, Reactors and Applications

Zaragoza-Spain, 16-18 October 2019
11:40   Unconventional catalyst synthesis and manufacturing methods 6
Chair: Oihane Sanz
40 mins

KEYNOTE: Luminescent silicates and coordination polymers: nanothermometry meets catalysis?
Prof. João Rocha (presenter: Joao Rocha)
Abstract: Non-invasive, accurate, and self-referenced measurement of temperature at the nano and micrometer scale is of great interest in many areas of human endeavor, including catalysis. While the local reactor temperature profile is very important for catalytic performance (cf. Arrhenius equation) local temperature fluctuations are still difficult to probe accurately,1 prompting the development of suitable thermometry techniques. Our approach to this problem relies on the thermal dependence of the luminescence of certain phosphors, providing high detection sensitivity and spatial resolution with short acquisition times. Lanthanide (Ln)-bearing materials are the most versatile probes used in luminescence (nano)thermometry. In this talk, I shall offer selected examples of such systems developed in Aveiro, comprising mainly metal organic frameworks (or coordination polymers)2-5 and silicates,6 but also certain fluoride7 and oxide8 nanoparticles. Despite the efforts of the scientific community to develop luminescent thermometers, and explore niche applications, very little work has been done on using luminescence thermometry for the in-situ study of catalytic reactions, with a notable example being provided by Meijerink, Weckhuysen, and co-workers.1 Notwithstanding, I shall show that the technique holds considerable potential to solve problems in this field.
20 mins

Sofia Calero, José Manuel Vicent-Luna, Azahara Luna-Triguero, Richard van de Sanden, Henk Akse (presenter: Sofia Calero)
Abstract: Syngas is traditionally used in industry for production of fuels in the kerosene, gasoline and diesel range via Fischer-Tropsch, for the manufacture of bulk chemicals like ammonia, methanol and dimethyl ether and for synthesis of a whole array of fine chemicals. The hydrogen /carbon monoxide ratio of the syngas is an important design variable to maximize production of these compounds. Therefore, the search of effective processes that enable said ratio adjustment as well as individual compound purification is an essential and ongoing effort for industry. The Proof of Concept that we propose is the development of a zeolite-based separation process to obtain carbon dioxide-neutral fuels and chemicals. The process that we plan to design is based on gas uptake and release, combining separation efficiency with low separation costs. Our approach consists of three main steps: identification of the optimal zeolite structure; validation with experiments and initiation of commercialization by developing a Business Case. For the technical testing, we will use the research knowledge developed within the ERC-RASPA project (, and the resulting process will be validated for the separation of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and oxygen resulting from plasma-assisted dissociation of the former gas into the others. The competitive analysis, business case and commercialization will be performed with the Company Traxxys Innovation and Sustainability as a partner. End user companies and equipment manufacturers such as Bronswerk (NL) and Hidralia (Sp) have expressed their interest in the idea.
20 mins

Physico-chemical and catalytic properties of Ni- modified 13X and 5A zeolite catalysts for sorption enhanced CO2 methanation: Influence of nickel precursors
Liangyuan Wei, Wim Haije, Narendra Kumar, Janne Peltonen, Markus Peurla, Henrik Grenman, Wiebren de Jong (presenter: Liangyuan Wei)
Abstract: Zeolite 13X and 5A supported Ni catalysts were synthesized for sorption enhanced CO2 methanation. The influence of the Ni precursors, loading and calcination temperature on the catalyst properties and performance were investigated. The physico-chemical characterization results show that the parent structure of 13X and 5A zeolites did not change after modification with Ni using precursors of nickel nitrate, citrate or acetate. Nickel citrate and acetate resulted in smaller NiO particle size than nickel nitrate for both 13X and 5A zeolites. Nickel citrate and low temperature calcined nitrate lead to a Ni modified zeolite catalyst with a lower reduction temperature compared to preparation with nickel acetate. STEM-EDX results showed that more Ni particles were present on the 5A zeolite outside crystal surface, compared to the Ni 13X zeolite catalysts, regardless of the type of precursors used. Catalyst performance tests in a laboratory-scale fixed bed flow reactor system showed that 5wt% Ni 13X zeolite catalyst made from nickel citrate displayed both the highest activity and selectivity towards CH4. All catalysts show excellent stability during 6 hours testing. Overall, it can be concluded that the selection of the Ni precursor significantly influences the physico-chemical characteristics and catalytic properties in CO2 methanation.