Research objectives and content
Alkane isomerisation and cracking over zeolite catalysts is known to be significantly influenced by adsorption a diffusion. While most investigations have been conducted with a single reactant species, only little is known about reactant mixtures of different n-alkanes. However, due to competitive adsorption and co-diffusion of different reactants, product selectivity can be expected to differ from the simple combination of single reactant experiments. For the investigation of co-adsorption and co-diffusion in the catalyst bed, the Positron Emission Profiling technique developed at TU Eindhoven, will be used. The work will mainly be focussed on n-pentane and n-hexane as reactants but it can optionally be extended to different mixtures. Based on the detection of two coincident y-particles created by electron-positron-annihilation, this technique yields information on the spacial and temporal distribution of the reactant in the catalyst bed. As the method can also used to distinguish between the components of a reactant mixture it can provide the necessary input for the theoretical modelling of the catalyst bed. Interpretation of experimental data will be supported by additional theoretical simulations of the diffusion-reacti problems essentially based on Monte Carlo approaches developed earlier at TU Eindhoven.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
Experience in the testing procedures of catalysts and know-how regarding the new Positron Emission Profiling technique will be gained. Skills in the theoretical modelling of diffusion-reaction systems, including Monte Carlo simulations, will be acquired. Furthermore, there will be several opportunities for participating in courses on Catalysis and on Reaction Engineer at Eindhoven University of Technology.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The topics under investigation are also of interest for crude oil refining processes. The work with the Positron Emission Profiling technique is also partially supported by Shell Research.