Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ZeoSynMech (Spatiotemporal and In-situ Spectroscopic Crystallization Studies of Microporous Materials)
Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-08-31
During this project we have investigated the full lifetime of zeolite catalysts from crystallization to deactivation using advanced characterization techniques including atom probe tomography (APT) and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM). APT is a type of 3-D microscopy that can produce atom-by-atom material reconstructions with sub-nanometer resolution, and STXM is able to produce spatially resolved (50 nm spot size) XANES (X-ray absorption near edge structure) maps of materials to learn more about the local environment of specific elements. Using these advanced characterization techniques, we have added insight to the underlying mechanisms of material crystallization, the distribution of active sites in materials and the deactivation of catalysts. Some of the notable catalysts that were investigated include SAPO-34, which is industrially used to convert methanol (sourced from both renewable and non-renewable feedstocks) into desirable commodity chemicals such as propylene and ethylene, as well as copper-exchanged zeolite SSZ-13 that is used to reduce NOX emissions in diesel vehicles. These applications are top priorities for the European Union within Horizon 2020 as they allow for increasing use of renewables as well as reducing air pollution.
The acquired results were communicated to the scientific community through publishing the work in the peer-reviewed highly prestigious scientific journals, as well as presenting in multiple international conferences, via oral presentations as well as poster presentations. The outcomes of the project were also communicated to the general public through press releases and social media platforms.