(215a) Scalable Production of Nanostructured Electrocatalysts for the e-Refinery

van Ommen, J. R., Delft University of Technology
There is a broad consensus that the chemical industry will have to make a transition to renewable feedstocks. An important route will be to use electrochemical processes, driven by electricity from sustainable sources, to produce syngas, ammonia, and organic base chemicals from water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and/or biomass. In recent years, much attention has been given to developing and understanding novel electrocatalysts for this task, while much less efforts has yet been put in developing the corresponding reactor designs. That is why we started recently at Delft University of Technology the e-Refinery initiative: to make progress in the whole chain, from the molecular scale to large-scale system integration.

The materials used in electrochemical catalytic processes have yet to be designed and optimised. We aim at a rational design approach of the key component materials. Moreover, much attention will be given at the combination of high precision and scalability in the manufacturing of electrocatalysts and other materials. While currently most catalysts are made via liquid-phase processes with limited control, we use gas-phase production techniques such as atomic layer deposition to make our materials. This approach gives a high control over size distribution [1] and the composition [2] of the catalyst particles. Moreover, it has the potential to be applied in large-scale applications [3] making it an enabler for large-scale electrocatalytic processes.

In this presentation, I will show how our progress in the development of the e-Refinery concept in general, and the use in it of advanced nanoscale manufacturing techniques for the required materials in particular.

[1] Grillo, F., Van Bui, H., Moulijn, J. A., Kreutzer, M. T., & Van Ommen, J. R. (2017). Understanding and controlling the aggregative growth of platinum nanoparticles in atomic layer deposition: An avenue to size selection. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 8(5), 975-983.

[2] Cheng, N., Shao, Y., Liu, J., & Sun, X. (2016). Electrocatalysts by atomic layer deposition for fuel cell applications. Nano Energy, 29, 220-242.

[3] Van Bui, H., Grillo, F., & Van Ommen, J. R. (2017). Atomic and molecular layer deposition: off the beaten track. Chemical Communications, 53(1), 45-71.