Heterogeneous catalysis, as a fundamental discipline, requires research that enables us to break through findings and advance detailed understanding. This requires concept of "catalysis by design," whereby the study is based on reaction mechanisms at the molecular and atomic level. The sophisticated synthesis of metals, oxides and some other new active phases are studied in this project, tackling the energy and environmental industrial-scale problems of fossil fuel chemistries (natural gas, petroleum and exhaust gas treatments). The target reactions include CO and hydrocarbon oxidations, methane dry reforming and hydrogenation/dehydrogenation reactions.
This project will employ various synthetic techniques available in KCC. The generation of metal nanoparticles by surface organometallic chemistry, reverse microemulsion techniques and homogeneous deposition precipitation methods will be attempted to vary the size, morphology and identity of the active metal nanoparticles. The synthesized nanoparticles are then supported or protected by the oxide materials for high-temperature reactions via sophisticated sol-gel chemistry. Combined with kinetic studies, the project can address the rigorous comparison of metal reactivity and selectivity, metal-support interaction and the protection of particles from their aggregation. Together with the catalyst synthesis, advanced in-situ and in-operando spectroscopies (IR, Raman, XAFS, etc.) have been used to monitor catalyst states in real working conditions.