Supported metal nanoparticle catalysts have a wide range of applications and the size of metal nanoparticles, metal-support interactions, inherent characteristics of the metal and support material can greatly influence the performance of a catalyst. One of my projects focuses on crude oil upgrading by Microwave (MW) heating. The objective of this project is to develop low-cost microwave absorbing nano-catalysts, which, when introduced into the crude oil and under microwave/electromagnetic field, will reduce the viscosity. For catalyst preparation I am using Strong Electrostatic Adsorption (SEA), Dry Impregnation (DI), and Charge-Enhanced Dry Impregnation (CEDI). For characterization TPR, BET, Mass Spectrometry, XRD, ICP-MS, XPS, STEM etc. are being utilized.
In another study, we investigate the thermodynamics of SEA using Metal Adsorption Isotherm Data. SEA is traditionally done by finding the optimum pH for adsorption but thermodynamic variables, like temperature, can have great influence on metal adsorption. A set of SEA can be done under different experimental conditions to construct adsorption isotherms, and Gibb’s free energy, enthalpy and entropy of corresponding adsorption systems can give useful insight, which can be used to further improve SEA.