Continuous Flow Manufacturing of Catalytic Nanomaterials

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


Nanoscale catalysts have traditionally been prepared by methods that do not provide accurate control on the catalyst structure. Colloidal routes offer improved control on nanoparticle size, shape, composition and structure. The nanoparticles are synthesised typically by the reduction of a metal salt or complex with a suitable reducing agent in the presence of capping ligands that are used to stabilise them and affect their shape and structure. The underlying synthesis consists of various steps of reactant complex formation, reactant speciation, nucleation, growth, aggregation. These steps are sensitive to reaction conditions (concentrations, pH, and temperature), whose uniformity is influenced by hydrodynamics, mass and heat transfer. This makes the scalability of such processes in batch vessels challenging, as these conditions can be nonuniform and affected by reaction vessel size. Continuous millifluidic reactors offer a technology, which can allow precise control of particle characteristics, while at the same time enable improved nanoparticle synthesis reproducibility and robustness. This research project aims to investigate millifluidic approaches for manufacturing catalytic nanoparticles. Different flow reactors will be studied to facilitate nanoparticle synthesis with reduced fouling and control of the mixing conditions. The nanoparticles will be supported on typical supports such as alumina, titania, silica and applied to catalytic reactions of relevance to pharmaceuticals or synthetic fuels.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513143/1 30/09/2018 29/09/2023
2578266 Studentship EP/R513143/1 26/09/2021 25/09/2025 Suneha Patil
EP/T517793/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2025
2578266 Studentship EP/T517793/1 26/09/2021 25/09/2025 Suneha Patil