Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - ZEOMORPH (A new concept in zeolite catalysis: Morphology induced shape selectivity)

ZeoMorph - FP7-ITN-EID

ZeoMorph is a European Industrial Doctorate project comprising 5 PhD candidates. The Danish company Haldor Topsøe A/S and the University of Oslo, Norway are full network partners. Groups at the University of Torino, Italy and Århus University, Denmark, are associated partners in the project.

About the project

Zeolites are crystalline aluminosilicates and have been used as catalysts within refining and hydrocarbon conversion processes since the 1960s. In addition to possessing strong Brønsted acidity, zeolites are microporous materials, having regular pores channels and cavities of molecular dimensions. These materials therefore possess shape selectivity for chemical reactions. Nevertheless, insufficiently shape selective catalyst, leading to rapid deactivation and unselective production, is a major obstacle for improved and new zeolite based industrial processes. Within the ZeoMorph project, these challenges will be overcome by bringing together leading European groups within physical and inorganic chemistry.

The ZeoMorph objective

The scientific vision of ZeoMorph is to establish a new concept within zeolite catalysis: Morphology induced shape selectivity

Work performed and results obtained so far

During the first half of the project, we have progressed well towards the realization of the project objectives. We are developing synthesis protocols that allow us to control the particle shape and size. Several advanced methodologies are being developed to investigate these materials; e.g. diffusion measurements, microscopy and diffraction methods, theoretical tools, and quantitative techniques to study catalyst deactivation.

Two project objectives have already essentially been realized:

We have in two instances synthesized nanostructured zeolite catalysts where the shape selective properties are determined predominantly by the particle morphology, thus adding weight to the proof of the ZeoMorph concept.

We have performed measurements of the activity of the individual active sites on the catalyst surface for idealized yet relevant elementary reaction steps. It is found that the activity per site is unaltered in the absence of diffusion limitations, whereas secondary reactions are strongly affected by morphology.

Impact of the project

ZeoMorph gathers leading European groups within the field of zeolite science, and is strengthened by the complementary nature of expertise offered by the individual participants. Student exchange between the partners will contribute to strengthening of the competitive edge of the training network.

Within the project, 5 PhD candidates with unique multi-faceted emphasis on world leading basic research, industrial innovation and entrepreneurship, and outreach/dissemination will be educated. PhD candidates educated in the field of catalysis are very attractive and competitive for a broad range of jobs and end up in industry, research and administration, consulting companies, research institutes, academia, and as civil servants at a high level.

The primary users of the new knowledge generated in ZeoMorph will be refinery operators (oil companies) and the global suppliers of catalysts and technology for refinery and petrochemical processes.

The scientific output of ZeoMorph may, in a long term perspective, lead to substantial European impacts. The catalytic processes that will be investigated are strongly related to the key strategic European issues of a secure supply of fuels and petrochemicals, and process improvements derived from ZeoMorph outputs may have substantial implications.

Project website

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Life Sciences
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