Carlos Hernández Mejía

PhD Candidate

Employed since: April 2015
Room: 4th floor

Niobia-based metal catalysts for synthesis gas conversion

Co-funding: Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração — CBMM
Promotor: Prof. dr. ir. Krijn de Jong

Conversion of synthesis gas (H2 and CO) to chemicals and fuels enjoys great attention as an alternative to the traditional crude oil based processes. The catalysts used for these processes are essential to these processes and therefore subject to continuous research, innovation and improvement. From previous research in our group [1] several advantages of Nb2O5 as support material for cobalt Fischer Tropsch catalysts have been found. These advantages comprise high bulk density of the support leading to high volume-based activity, high surface specific activity (TOF) for cobalt on niobia when promoted with a noble metal and very high selectivities to higher hydrocarbons which allows operation at more elevated temperatures.

In this project, we aim to understand niobia-based Co catalysts for Fischer Tropsch synthesis and to extend to other Nb-based materials and metals (e.g. Ni, Cu, Fe). Focusing specially on:

  • Understand the nature of noble-metal promotion of Co/Nb2O5 catalysts.
  • Establish and explore the nature of metallic (Co, Ni, Cu, Fe) nanoparticles supported on niobia and extend niobia applications.
  • Explore alternative niobia-based catalysts for FT and related catalysis.

For  this, state-of-the-art characterization techniques will be used such as AP-XPS, HR-TEM, SSITKA and XAS.

1. den Otter, J. H. & de Jong, K. P. Highly Selective and Active Niobia-Supported Cobalt Catalysts for Fischer–Tropsch Synthesis. Top. Catal. 57, 445–450 (2013).