Nano-Scale High-Surface-Area Thermal and Conductive Ceramics as Effectice Support for Metal Oxide Catalysts in Alkane Selective Oxidation
Compared with conventional processes used to produce many oxygenated chemicals, processes based on the selective catalytic oxidation of alkanes to produce oxygenates could yield enormous economic, energy, and environmental benefits. However, commercial development of such processes has been hindered, in part, because the excessive heat released by alkane oxidation causes over-oxidation (burning) of a significant amount of the oxide catalysts. These catalysts have inherently small surface areas and poor thermal conductivity, and are not able to dissipate the heat. In order to reduce regional over-heating and enhance selectivity to the oxygenate products, this project will design and develop a high-surface-area thermally-conductive material for use as a support for metal oxide catalysts. In Phase I, a nano-scale, high-surface-area, thermally stable and conductive material was designed, prepared, and characterized. This material was used as a support for a model metal oxide catalyst and tested in a model alkane oxidation. Significant enhancement in oxygenate selectivity was observed, as compared with conventional support materials or unsupported catalyst. Phase II will optimize the preparation of the novel support material and demonstrate its application in the selective oxidation of several alkanes. Catalytic testing will be conducted to measure the enhancement in oxygenate selectivity as compared with conventional support materials and the unsupported metal oxide catalysts. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The novel material should find application as a new product for catalyst support. Its application to various metal oxide catalysts in many alkane oxidations should help speed the commercialization of these alkane oxidation processes, thereby realizing the enormous economic, energy, and environmental benefits of these processes.
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Evernu Technology, Llc
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