APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Petroleum refining
- Hydrocarbon synthesis and partial hydrocarbon oxidation
- Chemical processing
- Pollution control device manufacturing
- Ignition process research
- Thermal stability at temperatures up to 750°C
- As catalytically active as bare platinum metal but without deformation
- Extends catalyst life and lowers cost
- Applicable to many metal/metal oxide compositions
- Can be incorporated into any refinery/plant
Scientists in Berkeley Lab’s Chemical and Materials Sciences Divisions have developed a nanocatalyst system that remains stable at temperatures up to 750°C, which includes typical operating temperatures of automobile catalytic converters as well as combustion temperatures observed in petroleum refineries. Conventional catalyst technologies do not operate at these high temperatures.
The Berkeley Lab system consists of structured platinum nanoparticles in a core coated with a mesoporous silica shell. The uniform pores of the outer shell offer reacting particles direct access to the platinum core and then an easy exit for product molecules. For ethylene hydrogenation and CO oxidation, the nanocatalysts were as active as bare platinum metal without deformation or aggregation. Yet, the Berkeley Lab technology prolongs the catalyst’s life cycle up to 10 times beyond current technologies by lowering the frequency of deactivation. In addition, metal-support interfaces may be maximized where these interfaces are important in catalytic performance.
The technology can be applied to nanocatalyst systems with a core composed of any noble metal and other porous shell materials besides silicon. The nanocatalysts are generated from tunable colloidal nanoparticles in a three-step process using commercially available chemicals. This process will scale up easily and can be applied to any refinery or chemical plant.
STATUS: Published Patent Application WO2010/053923 available at www.wipo.int. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
DEVELOPMENT STATUS: Proven principle will scale up easily.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Joo, Sang Hoon; Park, Jeong Young; Tsung, Chia-Kuang Tsung; Yamada, Yusuke; Yang, Peidong; and Somorjai, Gabor A. “Thermally stable Pt/mesoporous silica core–shell nanocatalysts for high-temperature reactions,” Nature Materials, Volume 8, 126-131, (2009).
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Hollow Nanocrystals and Nanoreactors, IB-2012
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2670