DEVELOPMENT OF HIGHLY ACTIVE AND SELECTIVE GOLD PALLADIUM ALLOY CATALYSTS AIDED BY MICROREACTION TECHNOLOGY

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Chemical Engineering

Abstract

In the present proposal we wish to initiate a multidisciplinary study that will enable development of novel systems for green manufacture by catalytic oxidation of chemical intermediates via collaboration between two research teams with strong track records, one in catalyst discovery and the other in microreaction technology. This combination of expertise will provide new technology and catalytic chemistry insights of relevance to the pharmaceutical, fine and bulk chemicals industry that will overcome present problems where stoichiometric oxidants are used due to the non-availability of suitable catalytic technology. Such current processes are non green, produce significant waste and are a source of environmental pollution. We plan to address this aspect and design new, green, solvent-free, catalysed oxidation processes which will utilise molecular oxygen as the oxidant, thereby eliminating the disadvantages and non-greeness of the currently used processes. By combining catalytic chemistry and microreaction engineering, we aim to identify and exploit radically new selective catalytic pathways, which will provide new opportunities in selective oxidation catalysis and environmentally friendly catalytic processes. This will be undertaken using gold and gold alloy catalysts in conjunction with molecular oxygen as the stoichiometric oxidant.Microengineered reactors offer an excellent tool for catalyst development, particularly for fast exothermic catalytic reactions. This is due to the small distances present for mass and heat transfer and improved heat management. These advantages have been demonstrated in a previous EPSRC project for the well-known formaldehyde synthesis on silver. Using the expertise developed and launching a synergistic chemistry/chemical engineering collaboration we now wish to embark on the quest for new highly active and selective catalysts for challenging oxidation reactions using molecular oxygen. This will be accomplished not only by exploiting the enhanced mass and heat transfer attributes of microengineered reactors, but also their newly demonstrated capabilities for in situ studies. In this way, catalyst development will be guided by unique tools and modern technology, as well as deeper understanding of reaction mechanisms.
 
Description Newly developed gold-palladium catalysts, which are highly active and selective were designed, prepared and optimised for the oxidation of alcohols. Reactivity and stability were examined using novel micropacked bed reactors. Integration of Raman spectroscopy with the microreactor was realized and used for in-situ reaction monitoring. The research helped in further understanding the reaction mechanisms.
Exploitation Route The methodology of combining catalyst design and microengineered reactors from this work can be applied both in academia and industry to design new catalysts and processes and optimise their performance for oxidation reactions.
Sectors Chemicals,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Description EPSRC
Amount £690,108 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J017833/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2012 
End 12/2015
 
Description 11th International Conference on Microreaction Technology, Kyoto, Japan, 2010 "Raman and Reaction Studies of Alcohol Oxidation on Gold Catalysts in Microstructured Reactors" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Oral presentation on "Raman and Reaction Studies of Alcohol Oxidation on Gold Catalysts in Microstructured Reactors".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description EuropaCat X, Glasgow, Scotland, 2011 "Comparison of Disproportionation of Benzyl Alcohol Catalysed by Supported Au-Pd Nanoparticles in a Micropacked Bed Reactor With Glass Stirred Reactor" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A Poster presentation on "Comparison of Disproportionation of Benzyl Alcohol Catalysed by Supported Au-Pd Nanoparticles in a Micropacked Bed Reactor With Glass Stirred Reactor".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description ISCRE22 (Maastricht, Holland), 2012 "Oxidation of Rosalva to Costenal on Silver Catalyst in Microstructured Reactors" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A poster presentation on , "Oxidation of Rosalva to Costenal on Silver Catalyst in Microstructured Reactors".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012