The search for more effective materials for e.g. biomass and solar catalysis is hampered by the wide variety of variables, such as temperature, pressure as well as catalyst composition and structure, all of which naturally lead to the exploration of a large experimental space. One way to perform so many catalytic testing experiments is to develop high-throughput tools. This approach has been developed over the past two decades. Giving the fact that catalytic solids are very heterogeneous in nature, and inter-particle heterogeneities are more the rule than the exception, it would be very advantageous if we could bring the high-throughput experimentation approach one step further. This can be done by studying the activity of single catalyst particles. This requires the integration of microreactor technology, single particle separation and analysis, as well as the integration of various analytical methods within microreactors. This is the goal of this project in which we will develop optical methods, more specifically electronic and vibrational spectroscopies, which allow characterizing inline the activity and properties of single catalyst particles for relevant reactions in the field of biomass catalysis, photo-catalysis and and solar catalysis. This approach will add to the general strategy of single catalyst diagnostic platform, as will be developed by Utrecht and Twente University researchers within the MCEC program.
Project leader: Prof. Bert Weckhuysen