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Understanding the Dynamic Nature of Catalysts for Methane Abatement Reactions

Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Commission of European Communities
Funding entity code
172.932,48 €
Start date
End date
http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/897197 Open in new window
In the next decades, methane will be used extensively in the European Union owing to the increased supplies of shale gas. Methane is the main component of natural gas (>90%) and its combustion is more efficient and has less carbon footprint with respect to other carbon-containing fuels. However, it is a powerful greenhouse gas, with an effect 20 times higher than that of CO2 and its high-temperature combustion emits toxic NOx and CO. Decreasing the emissions of greenhouse gases from combustion engines requires the development of more efficient catalysts, which is critical for natural gas fueled vehicles (NGVs).
My main goal in DynaCatMe is to develop highly active and steam-tolerant methane abatement catalysts. Based on outstanding preliminary results of the host group, I will synthesize the nanomaterials by using an unexplored method in emission-control catalysis: Mechanochemistry, which is a cheap, eco-friendly and readily scalable method and where active sites with unconventional architectures are created. During this Fellowship, I plan to acquire a fundamental understanding of the structural and chemical properties of the novel catalysts to precisely identify the active sites responsible for the superior performance. In addition, I will investigate the dynamic nature of nanocatalysts by using cutting-edge synchrotron-based operando spectroscopies to monitor and decipher their actual working state under industrial reaction conditions. Importantly, the expected results will also have a strong impact on methane-activation technologies for industrial application. I will build on my previous expertise in advanced characterization and will be guided by an expert in catalysts synthesis, characterization and testing to bring this multidisciplinary project to fruition. During the implementation of the Fellowship, I will develop new technical and transferable skills via a specifically designed and documented training plan.