Real-Time Studies at the Nanoscale of the Liquid-Phase Synthesis of Zeolite-Based Catalysts


With the world's growing energy demands and environmental awareness, new technologies have emerged to convert crude oil, natural gas and renewable feedstocks, such as biomass, into cleaner diesel fuel that will lead to reduced soot emission from the increasing usage of high-efficiency diesel cars. This has prompted the development of new and the improvement of existing zeolite-based catalysts.
Several structural parameters of zeolite-supported metal catalysts play a key role in hydrocarbon conversion processes. To facilitate the diffusion of hydrocarbons to the active acid sites of the zeolites, located in the zeolite micropores (~1 nm), introduction of larger mesopores (~20 nm) is the most commonly used strategy. The shape, the location and the accessibility of mesopores are of paramount importance, but can vary largely between individual zeolite crystals. On the other hand, the size, the loading and the location of active metal nanoparticles with respect to zeolite acid sites is equally crucial for increasing the yield and quality of fuels.
The goal of this project is to apply newly developed liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy (LP-TEM) to study, for the first time, metal/zeolite synthesis and modification processes, in a liquid environment as they take place and at nanometer scale. By performing acid treatments on zeolite crystals while imaging it in-situ using TEM and energy dispersive x-ray for mapping the chemical composition, insight in how different shapes of mesopores occur and how the Si/Al ratio of zeolites influences mesopore growth and structure, will be provided. Furthermore, the selective deposition of Pt species on zeolite or alumina components of the mixed support will be studied to determine its dependence on the pH of the environment. In-situ monitoring will provide a unique opportunity to unravel the fundamentals of catalyst syntheses and acquire knowledge essential to further improve these catalysts.





Dr. ir. J. Zecevic

Verbonden aan

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


N.B. Niet Bekend en Niet Gebruiken, Dr. ir. J. Zecevic


01/08/2016 tot 01/08/2019