Aqueous phase reforming (APR) of renewable oxygenates, of biomass origin, to get H2 was carried out. A series of highly stable Ru supported catalysts with controlled metal nanoparticle sizes have been prepared and used for APR of glycerol to produce H2. Nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbons (NMCs) were utilized as supports and found to have a strong influence on the catalytic performance of the catalysts. Notably, the catalyst (5 wt% Ru-NMC-3) with optimal N content (10.9 wt%) demonstrated improved stability and H2 selectivity, which are better than the many states of the art catalysts. Nitrogen in the carbon framework has a dual relationship with the activity of the catalyst; (i) it creates a primary environment over the catalysts support and (ii) it acts as an anchoring site for metal nanoparticles. Anchoring of metal nanoparticles has helped to curb their sintering, thus leading to better stability of the catalysts under APR reaction conditions. Various characterization techniques were employed to understand the nature of active catalytic sites responsible for higher H2 production while minimizing CO formation. In-situ CO-FTIR studies showed that the higher catalytic activity of 5wt% Ru-NMC-3 catalyst was attributed to enhanced WGS activity over this catalyst. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations were performed to understand the stabilization of metal nanoparticles by different types of N present on the support and provide insights into the preferred sites of glycerol adsorption on NMC support. Since 5wt% Ru-NMC-3 was the relatively best catalyst, it was selected for the preparation of bimetallic catalysts. Accordingly addition of Pt to this system helped to increase the stability of the catalyst. This bimetallic catalyst may, therefore, find application for extensive use in APR of biomass oxygenates.

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Utilization of Shale Gas; C1-C4 - lower hydrocarbons

Utilisation of Shale Gas – C1-C4 lower hydrocarbon to value added products like olefins and oxygenates.

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Biodiesel production is an enchanting and eccentric pathway for the reduction of use of fossil fuels and is procured from biologically available renewable sources such as oils and fats. A novel Mg/Al/Zn-based hydrotalcite/SBA-15 composite material having a high catalytic activity was developed and investigated for the transesterification of vegetable oil. The rationally developed composites were systematically characterized and assessed in the transesterification of soybean oil in the presence of methanol. The physicochemical evaluation of the nanocomposites demonstrated the influence of Zn in the textural characteristics, density of the basic sites, and successively the catalytic activity. The catalytic efficiency of the MAZ-x/SBA-15 composite could be linked with the basic site density determined by the temperature-programmed desorption of CO2. Among all the composites used, the MAZ-1/SBA-15 nanocomposite showed the highest activity for biodiesels, with a yield of around 90% under economical reaction conditions. The catalytic studies conferred that the fatty acid methyl ester yield is significantly influenced by various experimental conditions such as the catalyst molar ratio, reaction temperature, pressure, and contact time. It was also found that the incorporation of hydrotalcite into SBA-15 pore channels can enhance the catalyst efficiency and stability of the nanocomposite. Moreover, under mild reaction conditions, a remarkably stable catalytic performance was achieved for more than 200 h of time on stream with no catalyst deactivation.


Oxidative dehydrogenation of 1-butene to 1, 3-butadiene

Buta-1, 3-diene is one of the important platforms chemical which is employed in the production of many fine chemicals, commercial end products including polymers. Various transition metals; Cu, Ni, Mn, Zn, Cr and Co were substituted in bismuth ferrite and investigated for the oxidative dehydrogenation of 1-butene (ODH1B) using oxygen as oxidant. Phyisco-chemical methods were employed to understand the structural, morphological and surface features of the catalyst. Catalytic activity for all the materials were carried at optimized reaction conditions.

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Base free oxidation of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural to 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid

Oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) is an important reaction for the production of recyclable bio-based polymers. A series of Ru nanoparticles supported on NaY zeolites catalysts were prepared by simple ion exchanged method. Among all the catalysts, the optimized 3 wt % Ru-NaY catalyst shows superior catalytic activity under base free conditions with a shorter period of reaction time. This catalyst was reused for three cycles, with an insignificant decrease in the yield of FDCA.


Dehydration of Alcohols.

CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL) has started the research work for the development of laboratory-scale catalytic dehydration of methanol to DME under the mission mode program(MM-CSD) to revive the methanol economy for our nation. CSIR-NCL patented clean-burning DME production technology from methanol dehydration and is ready for pilot plant demonstration at TRL6. The patented catalyst has been tested at various levels from 3g to 1000g scale and tested for a longer time on stream (3500hrs) at different space velocities.

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