The sustainable production of highly demanded chemicals and fuels in a circular economy requires the development of novel catalytic materials that can adapt to variable feedstock and reaction conditions, optimizing activity and selectivity to key products. Currently, thermal catalysis strategies and new reaction and reactor concepts show promise for an industrial implementation of sustainable processes. The use of zeolites as catalysts and/or hosts for catalytic nanoclusters enables the selective formation of particular products.

[Translate to English:] Scheme showing zeolite catalysis

© NM

We study multifunctional catalysts with tailored properties at the nanoscale for the conversion of captured CO2 to platform chemicals. These materials are composites containing two or more catalytic functions in intimate contact. The material’s dynamic meso- and microscopic structure at the reaction temperature determines the catalytic performance. Important challenges to address are adapting both reaction conditions and catalyst properties for an optimal performance and stabilizing the catalysts against deactivation.

Another important chemical strategy for sustainable processes is the conversion of alcohols – stemming from biomass or CO2 hydrogenation - to short olefins and subsequent oligomerization to jet-fuel range. In this case, the goal is to optimize the reaction conditions to achieve high selectivity to linear and monobranched hydrocarbons, with the help of Ni centers hosted by zeolites.