Luminescence Thermometry for Operando Monitoring of Local Temperatures during Endothermic and Exothermic Hydrocarbon Conversion Processes

This project aims to investigate the wide applicability of luminescence thermometry within the field of heterogeneous catalysis. This will be done by studying two archetypal catalytic reactions relevant for small molecule hydrocarbon conversions, namely the endothermic propane dehydrogenation reaction and the exothermic oxidative coupling of methane reaction. The harsh conditions of these catalytic reactions require the development of improved temperature probes with respect to thermal stability and luminescence quantum yield to handle the high reaction temperatures (500–1000 °C) of catalysis and catalyst regeneration and to overcome competitive light absorption by (potentially formed) coke species. For this purpose, we will perform a thorough investigation of both the inorganic host lattice and the lanthanide dopant ions responsible for the temperature-dependent luminescence phenomena. After the development of improved temperature probes, they will be evaluated for their applicability in two selected reactions under various conditions, thereby laying the foundation for their wider use.


Daan Groefsema

PhD candidate
Utrecht University

Bert Weckhuysen

Professor of Inorganic chemistry and catalysis
Utrecht University