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Preparation of reaction systems for photocatalytic methane-to-methanol selective oxidation

Grant number: 19/10689-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Cauê Ribeiro de Oliveira
Grantee:Eduardo Henrique Dias
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/01258-5 - Novel chemical catalytic and photocatalytic processes for the direct conversion of methane and CO2 to products, AP.TEM


Methane recovery strategies are very expensive, requiring large volumes of energy. On the other hand, solar energy is available as driving force for the methane conversion processes to value-added products, such as methanol by photocatalytic oxidation. Semiconducting structures are reported in literature as the most prospective photocatalysts for these reactions, including the photoactivated methane oxidation1, but few are shown as adequate for partial or selective oxidation aiming, for instance, methane to methanol. However, a proper knowledge of photocatalyst role and reaction way may provide tools to control the reaction extension, leading to the production of OH, radicals which can react in specific methane sites to produce methanol2. A second aspect is how to perform the reactions, since the reaction system (liquid or gas-phase, with or without application of electrochemical polarization) may strongly affect the course of this reaction. Therefore, this research plan aims to develop a set of different reactors to test different photocatalysts as freestanding particles or immobilized in supports. CH4 oxidation in water will be primarily tested but also other prospective reactions, such as the CH4 oxidation combined to CO2 or N2 reaction will be preliminary tested. The results will support the LR4 and provide information for future scale-up processes. (AU)