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CAER Seminars

APPLICATIONS OF SUPERCRITICAL REACTION MEDIA IN FUELS PRODUCTION

Speaker:
Prof. Bala Subramaniam
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
University of Kansas
Lawrence KS

Date:
Tuesday, January 27, 1998 - 3:30 PM
Ben Bandy Conference Center
Center for Applied Energy Research

Abstract:
This seminar will focus on applications of supercritical reaction media in heterogeneous catalytic reactions involving fuels production. Adsorption/desorption and pore-diffusion are key parameters influencing the activity, effectiveness factors and product selectivity in porous catalysts. These parameters can be continuously pressure-tuned in the near-critical region to obtain unique fluid properties (e.g., gas-like transport properties and liquid-like solvent power).

We have investigated the effects of pressure-tuning with near-critical reaction media in a variety of heterogeneous catalytic reactions such as hexene isomerization on a Pt/gamma-alumina catalyst, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis on supported Fe catalysts and 1-butene/isobutane alkylation on solid acid catalysts.

Experimental and theoretical studies of these reaction systems will be presented that demonstrate several advantages of pressure-tuning fluid properties (e.g., enhanced catalyst activity, controllable product selectivity, etc.). The alkylation application is especially significant since a solid-acid catalyzed process with enhanced activity offers an environmentally-superior alternative to conventional alkylation technology that employs either hydrofluoric or sulfuric acid as catalyst.