Zeolite Crystal-Binder Interfaces within Catalyst Bodies: Towards Tailoring Zeolite Catalyst Body Design


The interaction at the zeolite crystal-binder interface is an important aspect of shaped catalyst bodies, influencing catalytic properties such as activity, selectivity and stability. An example of such a shaped catalyst body is a Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) particle, consisting of several components such as zeolite, binder and fillers. FCC particles are used in the petrochemical industry worldwide to convert crude oil to valuable products, such as gasoline. The bulk binder is known to facilitate mass transfer and increase active site accessibility in catalytic reactions. However, due to the lack of high spatiotemporal resolution techniques, limited research is available on the exact chemical and physical processes, which take place at zeolite-binder interfaces.
The goal of this proposal is to develop structure-activity relationships at the zeolite crystal-binder interface in FCC particles. Recently developed high spatiotemporal resolution characterization techniques and a proof-of-concept catalytic reaction (biomass valorisation) will be employed, with a view to tailoring zeolite catalyst body design.
In detail, I will use staining probe reactions and high resolution optical and electron microscopic techniques to investigate the physical and chemical processes, which take place at the zeolite crystal-binder interface. Model systems consisting of large zeolite crystals coated in either SiO2, Al2O3 or Kaolin clay will be investigated and also real systems, namely FCC particles. Employing these FCC particles in the catalytic transalkylation of phenol derivatives with aromatic hydrocarbons (both derived from biomass resources), will allow developing structure-activity relationships. By linking catalytic activity with characterization findings at the zeolite crystal-binder interface, catalyst body design can be tailored to enhance their application in a wide variety of catalytic systems.


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Dr. G.T. Whiting

Verbonden aan

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit B├Ętawetenschappen, Debye Instituut voor Nanowetenschap


Dr. G.T. Whiting


01/12/2015 tot 01/12/2018