Stability of Copper Nanoparticulate Catalysts
The aim of this project is to study the stability and to get fundamental insight in the deactivation mechanisms of supported copper catalysts. Copper catalysts are, in industry, used for the production of methanol. Methanol is an important reactant for the production of for instance plastics, fuels and drugs. The used catalysts (Cu/ZnO/Al2O3) deactivates by particle growth, which leads to the decrease in accessible surface area for catalysis , . Particle growth is caused by two mechanisms: the diffusion of the metallic nanoparticles over the oxide support and thereby coalescence and Ostwald ripening.
To acquire fundamental insight in both of these deactivation mechanisms a model system is needed. For the investigation of the rate of Ostwald ripening copper nanoparticles can be placed in a mesoporous silica support, modified mesoporous cellular foam , containing cages and narrow windows connecting the cages. In this case the mobility of the small copper particles will be limited to the space of the cages .
Furthermore, the support material, the CO/CO2 ratio in the synthesis gas feed and the effect of the addition of promotors, like ZnO will have an effect on the stability of the catalyst. These parameters together with possible other reactions, catalyzed by metallic copper particles will be investigated. As well as new routes to synthesize copper catalysts, by making use of for example colloidal particles .
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 G. Prieto, J. Zečević, H. Friedrich, K. P. de Jong, and P. E. de Jongh, “Towards Stable Catalysts by Controlling Collective Properties of Supported Metal Nanoparticles,” Nat. Mater., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 34–39, 2013.
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2014 – Present
PhD student in the group of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis
2011 – 2013
Masters degree in “Nanomaterials: Chemistry and Physics”, Utrecht University
Master thesis at the Van ’t Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, “Catalytic Degradation of Organic Molecules by Colloidal Hematite in a Silica Box via Fenton-like Reaction”, supervised by Sonja Castillo MSc and Prof. Dr. Albert Philipse
Internship at DSM Geleen, ACES, Colloids & Interfaces, “Solvent Assisted Dispersion of Polyurethanes”, supervised by Ir. Harm Langermans and Prof. Dr. Ir. Remco Tuinier
2007 – 2010
Bachelors degree in Chemistry, Utrecht University
Bachelor thesis at the Van ’t Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Utrecht University, “Arrested States in Suspensions of Natural Clays and Spheres”, supervised by Dr. Dzina Kleshchanok and Prof. Dr. Henk Lekkerkerker
2001 – 2007
VWO, O.R.S. Lek & Linge, Culemborg
Born on December 18th, ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
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