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Increased gas solubility in nanoliquids: Improved performance in interfacial catalytic membrane contactors

Pera-Titus, Marc, Miachon, Sylvain and Dalmon, Jean-Alain 2009. Increased gas solubility in nanoliquids: Improved performance in interfacial catalytic membrane contactors. AIChE Journal 55 (2) , pp. 434-441. 10.1002/aic.11656

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The kinetics of gas‐liquid catalytic reactions can be strongly promoted when these are performed in interfacial catalytic membrane reactors instead of other three‐phase reactors such as slurry stirrers or trickle beds. The well‐defined gas‐liquid‐catalyst contact in this system avoiding diffusional limitations is usually argued as the main reason for such enhancement. In this work, using nitrobenzene hydrogenation as a model reaction, we propose that this increased catalytic performance might also be attributed, at least partially, to increased gas solubilities in mesoconfined solvents (or simply “nanoliquids”) in interfacial contactors overcoming the values predicted by Henry's Law. To support this hypothesis, we provide experimental evidence of a dramatic increase of H2 solubility in confined ethanol using mesoporous γ‐Al2O3 as confining solid. Gas‐liquid solubilities can be enhanced up to five times over the corresponding bulk values for nanoliquid sizes lower than 15 nm as long as the gas‐liquid interface is confined in a mesoporous array. In such a situation, the volume of the gas‐liquid interface is no longer negligible compared to the total volume of the confined liquid, and the high surface excess concentrations of the gas adsorbed on the liquid surface make solubility grow up dramatically. According to these measurements, we discuss how nanoliquids might form in catalytic membrane contactors, which gas‐liquid configuration in the reactor appears to be more appropriate, and how the structure of the mesoporous catalytic layer contributes to their increased gas solubilization performance. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2009

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0001-1541
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2020 11:30

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