(137b) Radio Frequency Driven Heating of Catalytic Reactors for Portable Green Chemistry | AIChE

(137b) Radio Frequency Driven Heating of Catalytic Reactors for Portable Green Chemistry


Green, M. - Presenter, Texas A&M University
Wilhite, B., Texas A & M University
Patil, N., Texas A&M University
Mishra, N. K., Texas A& M University
Here, we propose a novel integration of radio frequency (1-300 MHz) responsive nanomaterials with conventional catalytic materials to realize a new class of heterogeneous catalysts that undergo uniform volumetric and localized heating to drive chemical transformations at the modular scale. Approximately 80% of chemical manufacturing involves heterogeneous catalytic reactions, which currently require heating via steam utilities or fired furnaces, and thus contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions while also limiting distributed chemicals production. Our approach uses an electric route to produce chemicals where radio frequency (RF) electric fields and their interaction with carbon/ceramic nanomaterials are utilized to selectively heat the catalyst composition. A proof-of-concept is demonstrated using the commonly studied methanol steam reforming reaction on a platinum catalyst. In this study, two RF susceptors were used: carbon nanotubes and silicon carbide fibers. The conversion rate of methanol using RF heating was comparable to oven heating at varying temperature and catalyst combinations. This is a potential breakthrough over conventional catalytic reactors in that it enables small, safe, sustainable, on-site, and on-demand production of chemicals in the absence of traditional manufacturing infrastructure.