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Catalysts for Activation of Light Paraffins by Selective Oxidation


Foreseen Results

If successful, the project will result not only in a better understanding of the studied reactions and improved catalysts for them, but also in the creation of new links of cooperation and a broader integration of research centres in a full European scale.
The present project is aimed at developing basic and precompetitive knowledge for the design of new catalysts for the selective oxidative activation of propane and isobutane.
The increasing demand of these light paraffins and the need of fairly pure feedstocks for their petrochemical use might cause the present capacity to become insufficient to cope with it.
On the other hand, these paraffins are relatively abundant in refiner streams, being inexpensive and at present mostly used as energy carriers for combustion.
Therefore, the objective of this joint research project would be the study and development of new catalysts for the selective oxidation of propane to acrolein and the oxidative dehydrogenation (OXD) of isobutane.

The following stages are proposed to reach this goal:

a basic study of catalysts, suitable for the target reactions (OXD of isobutane and propane to acrolein)
based on this knowledge, the further development of catalysts through the optimization of
catalyst preparation methods;
catalyst formulations;
the process operating variables for each target reaction.

The first stage will include the synthesis of bulk or supported mixed oxide phases, as well as metal oxide-zeolite mixed systems, and the screening of their catalytic properties for the target reactions. The OXD of propane will also be studied on the same catalysts as a tool to obtain mechanistic information by comparison with these reactions. Simultaneously, the physico-chemical properties of the most promising systems will be studied by various "in situ" techniques to identify the real active sites and to understand the mechanism of reaction. Based on this knowledge, in the second step, the tuning of the catalytic active sites will be attempted by preparing biphasic catalysts.

This research programme will be carried out by six research centers, two from EU states, two from the CCE and two from the NIS. The composition of the consortium is aimed at stabilizing the RTD potential at a European scale, by joining the complementary background experience of each partner, thus profiting their synergy. Proposers from EU-member states will provide scholarships for the research visits of researchers from the non-EU proposers.

Call for proposal

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Campus uam cantoblanco
28049 Madrid

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EU contribution
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Participants (5)