Robin Vogel

PhD Candidate
Employed since: February 2021
Room: Vening Meineszgebouw-C



Time-Gated Raman Spectroscopy of Light Alkane Dehydrogenation Catalysts

Light olefins, such as propylene and ethylene are key building blocks in the chemical industry for the production of polymers, oxygenates and other chemical intermediates. Dehydrogenation of propane, facilitated by either platinum-tin or chromium oxide based catalysts is an industrial road towards propylene. During this process coking and subsequent activity loss of the catalyst occurs as the products of side reactions react with the olefin. The catalytic activity is regained in an oxidative regeneration step. [1]

Operando Raman spectroscopy has been used  in this group to investigate the dynamics taking place within a dehydrogenation catalyst. Unfortunately, a strong fluorescence background overshadowed the Raman scattering during initial stages of hydrogenation and regeneration. [2] Raman scattering and fluorescence occur on a different timescale and can therefore be separated by measuring in a time-resolved manner with the aid of new commercial time-gated Raman spectroscopy instruments.

The aim of this study is to develop and explore time-gated Raman spectroscopy to gain more understanding in coke formation during successive dehydrogenation and regeneration cycles under industrial relevant conditions. In a second step, we strive to use shell-isolated nanoparticles enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SHINERS) to further increase the sensitivity of the Raman technique. The combined information obtained from both techniques offers direct means to define protocols for optimal regeneration of dehydrogenation catalysts.

[1]       J. J. H. B. Sattler, J. Ruiz-Martinez, E. Santillan-Jimenez, and B. M. Weckhuysen, “Catalytic dehydrogenation of light alkanes on metals and metal oxides,” Chem. Rev., vol. 114, no. 20, pp. 10613–10653, 2014

[2]       J. J. H. B. Sattler, A. M. Beale, and B. M. Weckhuysen, “Operando Raman spectroscopy study on the deactivation of Pt/Al 2O3 and Pt-Sn/Al2O3 propane dehydrogenation catalysts,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., vol. 15, no. 29, pp. 12095–12103, 2013




2021 – present
PhD candidate in the group of prof. dr. ir. Bert Weckhuysen, Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University

Project: Time-Gated Raman Spectroscopy of Light Alkane Dehydrogenation Catalysts

2018 – 2020
Master Nanomaterials Science at Utrecht University

Master thesis: Supported (Bi)metallic Nanoparticles for the Synthesis of Furandicarboxylic Acid

Internship at Shell, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Topic: The Development of the anodic Side of a CO2 Electrolyser: a more efficient Oxygen Evolution Catalyst and Alternative Oxidation Reactions

2014 – 2017
Bachelor Chemistry at Utrecht University

Bachelor thesis: Carbon-supported, oxide-derived Cu nanoparticles for CO2 reduction