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Title: Role of adsorption in catalysis : applications of NMR relaxometry
Author: Arias Vecino, Pablo
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 0898
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2015
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The work described in this thesis focuses on the effects that adsorption processes on catalytic surfaces pose in controlling key steps that can affect and control reaction pathways. To that, the development of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) relaxometry methods and the comparison with traditional catalytic was performed with a series of C5 and C6 unsaturated hydrocarbons on two different alumina supports, γ- and θ-Al2O3. The developed techniques were applied in the study of liquid phase selective hydrogenation of citral on 5% Pt/SiO2. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy, volumetric adsorption isotherms, dynamic isotherms via a Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM), temperature programmed desorption (TPD) as well as 13C T1 NMR and 1H 2D T1-T2 relaxometry methods were employed. Energies of adsorption as a function of coverage were obtained via adsorption isotherms and the particular surface adsorbate interactions were described with IR spectroscopy. For example, 1-pentyne showed the strongest interaction with the alumina (94 kJ mol-1) while 1-pentene presented a weaker interaction (46 kJ mol-1) on θ-Al2O3. Desorption energies obtained from TPD ranged 85 – 130 kJ mol-1, irrespective of the adsorbate. Reactivity of the aluminas was captured with TPD, TEOM and NMR relaxometry. Interaction of adsorbates with hydrocarbon occurred predominantly on weak adsorption sites. 13C NMR T1 relaxometry provided in addition atom-specific adsorbate-adsorbent interaction strengths, showing the molecular geometry of adsorption, and applied in co adsorption measurements. The selective hydrogenation of citral as a model α,β-unsaturated aldehyde and the effect of different solvents on the activity and product distribution was studied at 298 and 373 K. A series of polar protic, polar aprotic and non polar solvents was investigated. Results showed higher initial reaction rates in non polar solvents but higher selectivities towards desired products on polar protic solvents. Solvent used also affected by product formation. The strong variations in reaction rates and selectivities reported were related with adsorbate catalyst interactions, as well as solvent reactant interactions. For example, adsorption isotherms showed that ethanol notably reduced the adsorption capacity of citral as compared with hexane, related with the rate differences observed. ATR-IR measurements indicated solvent citral interactions were solely present in polar protic solvents in line with higher yields of geraniol and nerol. Finally, 13C T1 NMR and 1H 2D T1-T2 correlation experiments determined that the geometry of adsorption of citral, influenced by solvent, affected product selectivity, and that product adsorption affected selectivity and deactivation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC ; Johnson Matthey Catalysts
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: olefin ; 1-pentene ; 1-pentyne ; alumina ; Pt/SiO2 ; citral ; geraniol ; nerol ; citronellal ; citronellol ; limonene ; selective hydrogenation ; nuclear magnetic resonance ; solvent effects ; unsaturated aldehydes ; TPD ; TPO ; infrared ; DRIFTS ; ATR-IR ; adsorption isotherms ; TEOM ; competitive adsorption ; hydrogenation ; isomerisation ; cyclisation ; Langmuir ; Freundlich ; Tóth