- Development of catalytic microreactors by plasma processes: application to wastewater treatment
- Award date
- 18 November 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (WZI)
A key aspect in overcoming the energy and environmental challenges is to improve the efficiency of existing and new processes. Nowadays, almost all major chemicals are produced by catalytic processes. However, a better understanding of the reaction pathways and kinetics is needed. In the field of wastewater treatment, catalytic ozonation is a typical example of this problem.
In this study, catalytic microreactors were used as innovative analytical tools for the determination of kinetics of catalytic ozonation and were elaborated by using low pressure plasma processes for the deposition and activation of iron and oxide-based catalysts on polymer-based materials.
Catalytic ozonation with pyruvic acid as a refractory probe compound was performed with both catalysts. HPLC measurements showed the inactivity of the iron oxide layer compared to the cobalt oxide one which led to 20 % of degradation. The effect was doubled when the latter was post-treated by an argon plasma, demonstrating the role and importance of the plasma post-treatment step.
A numerical study dealing with the reactions taking place on the surface of the catalyst was carried out using the Comsol Multiphysics software and showed that the model partially fitted the experimental data due to the lack of information.
However, access to the reactions rate constants of the intermediate species generated during the catalytic ozonation step could be achieved through the use of the Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy technique and would lead to an efficient tool to predict the relevance and the direction of future improvement strategies regarding catalyzed chemical reactions.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam