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Development of advanced catalysts for methane conversion and characterization using In-operando synchrotron tools

Grant number: 19/00776-5
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2019 - May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal Investigator:Andre Santarosa Ferlauto
Grantee:Andre Santarosa Ferlauto
Principal investigator abroad: Fabio Henrique Lobo Alvim Ribeiro
Institution abroad: Purdue University, United States
Home Institution: Centro de Engenharia, Modelagem e Ciências Sociais Aplicadas (CECS). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Daniel Zanetti de Florio ; Fabio Coral Fonseca ; Thiago Lopes
Associated research grant:17/11937-4 - A sustainable path to methane conversion by advanced electrochemical technologies, AP.PCPE


The aim of this proposal is to establish joint research activities between two centers in Brazil and the USA that have similar missions and complementary expertise. The Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR) is one of the NSF Engineering Research Center. It has been formed in 2017 and its mission the development of innovative process designs for economic production of chemicals and transportation fuels from hydrocarbons from shale gas. It is hosted at Purdue University and has as partners institutions University of Notre Dame, Northwestern University, and the University of New Mexico. The Center for Innovation on New Energies (CINE) is a new Engineering Research Center from FAPESP, established in 2018. It is divided into 4 Divisions that cover different aspects of the new energy scenario. Division 3, named "Methane to products (M2P)", is focused on the study of the conversion of methane to products by electrochemical technologies, sharing many scientific interests with CISTAR. The research in CISTAR is focused on innovative process designs for economic production of chemicals and transportation fuels from shale gas hydrocarbons. Novel approaches for converting methane to chemical intermediates are also investigated. Two main expertise of CISTAR team will be very important for the proposed collaboration. (i) The ability to develop highly efficient and selective catalysts for different hydrocarbon conversion reactions; and (ii) the ability to characterize such catalysts in conditions simulating those of practical reactions. The research of CINE-M2P is focused on the study of methane conversion mostly by innovative electrochemical reactions. Both high and low-temperature methane conversion processes are investigated. The high-temperature processes are based on solid oxide electrochemical membranes or thermochemical redox reactions whereas the low-temperature processes are based on ion-conducting polymeric membranes. Low-temperature photochemical processes are also investigated. Three lines of research will be initially focused on this project, summarized as follows. Nonetheless, novel ideas can be pursued as a result of interchange visits. (i) Development of zeolites-based catalysts for methane to aromatics using high-temperature ion-conducting membranes. (ii) Development of single-atom catalyst systems for both low and high-temperature methane activation, and (iii) Development of reactors for in-operation characterization of nanosized catalysts during electrochemical and thermochemical reactions. Three separate visits from the Brazilian team to CISTAR/Purdue are planned, roughly one every semester to promote the exchange research ideas, joint research planning, collaborative experiments, and seminars. In addition, a single mission of three researchers from CISTAR to Brazil is planned. The idea, in this case, is to allow similar exchange activities and to promote a workshop or "school" targeted to Brazilian post-docs and students wherein the visiting researchers will give lectures. An important goal of this SPRINT proposal, as agreed by both teams, is to advance as a "seed project" towards a larger proposal to be submitted jointly to both NSF and FAPESP as a Center-to-Center collaboration. This type of joint project between Engineering Research Centers has been encouraged NSF in recent years and is also highly regarded by FAPESP. (AU)