Catalyst design and testing for tailoring the reaction selectivity and intermediate formation, including in situ characterization of the solid-phase

Non-oxidative coupling of methane to value-added products

This project focuses on the rational design and synthesis of efficient catalysts, together with obtaining fundamental insights into the surface and gas-phase processes in methane non-oxidative coupling reaction.

The quest for an efficient process to directly convert methane into value-added chemicals is driven by the increasing demand for aromatics and olefins and the low pricing of natural gas feedstock. The project includes the design, synthesis, catalytic performance testing, and characterization of catalysts for methane non-oxidative conversion to value-added hydrocarbon products. A series of zeolite-based catalysts and metal oxide-based catalysts will be synthesized and tested under different reaction conditions. With the aid of multiple characterization techniques including operando XAFS, operando XRD, in situ TGA, and Mössbauer spectroscopy, we will investigate the structure and evolution of active sites during reaction with a specific focus on revealing the reaction pathways on the catalyst surface and in the gas phase.