GeCatS Infoday "Operando Spectroscopy in Catalysis – Time to Implement this Methodology in Industry"

29 January 2020
DECHEMA-Haus, Frankfurt am Main

Operando methods, i.e. the simultaneous analysis of structural or electronic features of operating catalysts together with their performances (i.e. reaction rate, activation energy, productivity, selectivity, and yield) under realistic process conditions, have seen an exciting development during the last two decades. Optical and vibrational spectroscopies, X-ray methods, and magnetic resonance techniques where combined with catalyst performance measurements using gas chromatography or mass spectroscopy. A wide variety of reaction cells have been tailored to meet the special requirements of the applied spectroscopic tools. However, the conditions in such cells (e. g. sample amount and shape, pressure, temperature, flow regimes, gradients etc.) often differ quite significantly even from those of laboratory plug flow µ-reactors for kinetic measurements optimized to reduce heat and mass transfer limitations, not to mention large scale, polytropic industrial process reactors. Hence, there is still a very serious gap between the industrial process reality and academic catalyst studies, which needs to be closed!

To allow direct transfer of scientific results to application, the field of operando methodology needs to be pushed towards industrial conditions to really understand the physical chemistry of operating catalysts and to address long-term issues like catalyst equilibration or even deactivation. To achieve this goal, suitable analytical tools will have to be implemented into industrial reactors on one hand and/or operando reactors will have to be engineered with similar kinetic regimes on the other.

The Infoday will provide a networking forum for experts from academia and industry to discuss new ideas how to bring operando methodology to industrial reactors.

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