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Title: Catalytic oxidation of volatile organic compounds
Author: Ntainjua Ndifor, Edwin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 1139
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are an important class of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which pose enormous health and environmental threats. This thesis investigates different catalyst formulations for the complete oxidation of naphthalene (Np). a model PAH. Low loadings of vanadium added during the impregnation step of catalyst preparation were found to enhance the naphthalene oxidation activity of Pd-alumina and Pt- alumina catalysts while higher loadings were detrimental to the catalysts' performance. The promotional effect has been attributed to the presence of a low concentration of a particular type of vanadium species which fosters the redox behaviour of the binary system (Pd/V or Pt/V) coupled with the change in the active metal (Pd or Pt) particle size (Pd or Pt dispersion). The presence of high concentrations of crystalline V2O5 species has been suggested to account for the lower activity observed for Pd/V and Pt/V catalysts with vanadium loadings in the range of 6 - 12% and 1 - 12 % respectively. It is postulated that the mechanism of naphthalene oxidation over Pd/V differs from the mechanism of oxidation over Pt/V catalysts. The nature of support material was established to be crucial for the activity of Pt- supported catalysts for naphthalene oxidation. The Pt dispersion, metal-support interaction (MSI) and oxidation state of Pt varied as a function of the nature of support and hence resulted in differences in the Np oxidation efficiency of five Pt- supported catalysts with equal Pt loading but different supports. Low Pt dispersion (high Pt particle size), weak MSI and metallic state of Pt favoured Np oxidation. Si02 proved to be the best amongst five Pt supports investigated for Np oxidation. A variation in the preparation method and preparation conditions of ceria affected the surface area, crystallite size, oxygen defect concentration, morphology and surface reducibility of the ceria catalyst and hence the Np oxidation activity. High surface area, small crystallite size, and high oxygen defect concentration of Ce02 favoured the activity of the catalyst for Np oxidation. The best preparation methods in this study were found to be homogeneous precipitation with urea (UR) and precipitation with the carbonate (CR). Optimum preparation conditions for ceria (UR) were established and a highly active nano-crystalline ceria catalyst for Np oxidation was derived. The addition of low and high loadings of Pt during the precipitation of this ceria (UR) catalyst resulted in less active naphthalene oxidation catalysts. The drop in activity of ceria with Pt doping has been attributed to a strong metal support interaction between Pt and ceria which limits the ease at which lattice oxygen is consumed in the Mars-Van krevelen redox cycle.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available