In chemical product design, the aim is to formulate a product with desired performance. Ingredients and internal product structure are two key drivers of product performance with direct impact on the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. Thus, there is a keen interest in elucidating the dependence of product performance on ingredients, structure, and the manufacturing process to form the structure. Design of product structure, particularly microstructure, is an intrinsically complex problem that involves different phases of different physicochemical properties, mass fraction, morphology, size distribution, and interconnectivity. Recently, computational methods have emerged that assist systematic microstructure quantification and prediction. The objective of this paper is to review these computational methods and to show how these methods as well as other developments in product design can work seamlessly in a proposed performance, ingredients, structure, and manufacturing process framework for the design of structured chemical products. It begins with the desired target properties and key ingredients. This is followed by computation for microstructure and then selection of processing steps to realize this microstructure. The framework is illustrated with the design of nanodielectric and die attach adhesive products.
Five hundred ppm Pd/CeO2 catalyst was prepared and evaluated in selective hydrogenation of acetylene in large excess of ethylene since ceria has been recently found to be a reasonable stand-alone catalyst for this reaction. Pd/CeO2 catalyst could be activated in situ by the feed gas during reactions and the catalyst without reduction showed much better ethylene selectivity than the reduced one in the high temperature range due to the formation of oxygen vacancies by reduction. Excellent ethylene selectivity of ~100% was obtained in the whole reaction temperature range of 50°C–200°C for samples calcined at temperatures of 600°C and 800°C. This could be ascribed to the formation of PdxCe1−xO2−y or Pd-O-Ce surface species based on the X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results, indicating the strong interaction between palladium and ceria.
Copper has received extensive attention in the field of catalysis due to its rich natural reserves, low cost, and superior catalytic performance. Herein, we reviewed two modification mechanisms of co-catalyst on the coordination environment change of Cu-based catalysts: (1) change the electronic orbitals and geometric structure of Cu without any catalytic functions; (2) act as an additional active site with a certain catalytic function, as well as their catalytic mechanism in major reactions, including the hydrogenation to alcohols, dehydrogenation of alcohols, water gas shift reaction, reduction of nitrogenous compounds, electrocatalysis and others. The influencing mechanisms of different types of auxiliary metals on the structure-activity relationship of Cu-based catalysts in these reactions were especially summarized and discussed. The mechanistic understanding can provide significant guidance for the design and controllable synthesis of novel Cu-based catalysts used in many industrial reactions.
Research results regarding selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOx with ethanol and other C1-4 oxygenates as reductants over silver-alumina catalysts are summarized. The aspects of the process mechanism, nature of active sites, role of alumina and silver (especially in the formation of bifunctional active sites), effects of reductants and reaction conditions are discussed. It has been determined that key stages of the process include formation of reactive enolic species, their interaction with NOx and formation of nitroorganic compounds which transform to NCOads species and further to N2. The results obtained over various silver-alumina catalysts demonstrate the perspectives of their application for reducing the level of nitrogen oxides in engine emissions, including in the presence of water vapor and sulfur oxides. Ways to improve the catalysts for the SCR of NOx with C1-4 oxygenates are outlined.
Membrane technology holds great potential in gas separation applications, especially carbon dioxide capture from industrial processes. To achieve this potential, the outputs from global research endeavours into membrane technologies must be trialled in industrial processes, which requires membrane-based pilot plants. These pilot plants are critical to the commercialization of membrane technology, be it as gas separation membranes or membrane gas-solvent contactors, as failure at the pilot plant level may delay the development of the technology for decades. Here, the author reports on his experience of operating membrane-based pilot plants for gas separation and contactor configurations as part of three industrial carbon capture initiatives: the Mulgrave project, H3 project and Vales Point project. Specifically, the challenges of developing and operating membrane pilot plants are presented, as well as the key learnings on how to successfully manage membrane pilot plants to achieve desired performance outcomes. The purpose is to assist membrane technologists in the carbon capture field to achieve successful outcomes for their technology innovations.