Eelco Vogt - Photo-spectroscopy of mixtures of catalyst particles reveals their age and type

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

      Kerssens, M.M., Wilbers, A., Kramer, J., De Peinder, P., Mesu,   G., Nelissen, B.J., Vogt, E.T.C., Weckhuysen, B.M. Faraday   Discuss., 188, 69-79, 2016


        Within a fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit, a mixture of   catalyst particles that consist of either zeolite Y (FCC-Y) or   ZSM-5 (FCC-ZSM-5) is used in order to boost the propylene yield   when processing crude oil fractions. Mixtures of differently aged   FCC-Y and FCC-ZSM-5 particles circulating in the FCC unit, the   so-called equilibrium catalyst (Ecat), are routinely studied to   monitor the overall efficiency of the FCC process. In this study,   the age of individual catalyst particles is evaluated based upon   photographs after selective staining with substituted styrene   molecules. The observed color changes are linked to physical   properties, such as the micropore volume and catalytic cracking   activity data. Furthermore, it has been possible to determine the   relative amount of FCC-Y and FCC-ZSM-5 in an artificial series of   physical mixtures as well as in an Ecat sample with unknown   composition. As a result, a new practical tool is introduced in   the field of zeolite catalysis to evaluate FCC catalyst   performances on the basis of photo-spectroscopic measurements   with an off-the-shelf digital single lens reflex (DSLR)   photo-camera with a macro lens. The results also demonstrate that   there is an interesting time and cost trade-off between single   catalyst particle studies, as performed with e.g. UV-vis,   synchrotron-based IR and fluorescence micro-spectroscopy, and   many catalyst particle photo-spectroscopy studies, making use of   a relatively simple DSLR photo-camera. The latter approach offers   clear prospects for the quality control of e.g. FCC catalyst   manufacturing plants.

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