New method to decrease particle size

This week, University Putra Malaysia's team unveiled their latest inventions and products at the 34th International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products in Geneva (April 2-6, 2008), also known as the World's Largest Market-Place for Inventions.

This research is on a new technique for significantly reducing the catalyst particle to nanoparticle size so that the surface area is greatly increased. This significant breakthrough is important because chemical reactions happen on the surface of catalyst. Therefore this allows the catalyst to operate at lower temperatures, higher yields and shorter preparation time

TITLE: Nanoparticle of Vanadium Phosphate Catalysts for Selective Oxidation of n-Butane to Malice Anhydride

RESEARCHERS: Prof. Dr. Taufiq Yap Yun Hin and Dr. Ali Asghar Rownaghi
Contact details:
Putra Laboratory for Catalysis Science and Technology,
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science,
Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Telephone: 03-8946 6809
Fax: 03- 8946 6758
E-mail : yap@fsas.upm.edu.my
Catalysis is of crucial importance for the chemical industry and catalysts have been developed for a wide spectrum of reactions, with perhaps the most popular example being the converter in cars used to reduce toxic emissions. Light alkane (C3-C5) selective oxidation reactions of industrial interest and indicate their stage of development.

All chemical industry process reacts on the surface of catalyst. Therefore with the invention of this new method having significantly high surface area (> 50 m2g-1) by decreasing the particle size to nanoparticle (first time in the world) of the catalysts and consequently enhance release of the oxygen species from the catalyst for VPO catalyst will provide a high active site for the reaction to be occurred. This is very interesting and extremely potential commercialized for selective oxidation of light alkanes.

The active catalyst has linear relationship between light alkane conversion with the catalyst surface area. This implies that the surface structure of the activated catalysts are very similar and the activity differences are just due to the higher surface area VPO catalyst having a higher number of active sites per unit mass of catalyst. This high surface area catalyst particular advantage of higher surface area catalysts is that the can operated at lower temperature which leads to an enhanced selectivity and yield in product being obtained also potentially use for other light alkanes oxidation, shorter preparation duration for this new method (from 26 to only 8 h).

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Dr Nayan KANWAL ResearchSEA

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