Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering

First Advisor

Xianqin Wang

Second Advisor

Zafar Iqbal

Third Advisor

Kamalesh K. Sirkar

Abstract

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising porous materials due to their high porosities, large apparent surface areas, tunable pore properties and selective uptake of small molecules. Many researches have been focused on developing new MOF structures and exploring their use in gas storage and separation. Only few studies investigated the catalytic properties of MOFs. In this study, catalytic properties are explored over several MOFs including zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8), Ni(FA) and Zn(FA). These MOFs are used as catalyst supports for iron or platinum nanoparticles. The catalysts are prepared using incipient wetness impregnation method and characterized with Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), pulse chemisorption, X-ray diffraction (XRD), temperature-programmed reduction (TPR), and temperature-programmed desorption (TPD). The catalysts are tested from the water gas shift and methanol oxidation reactions using a fixed bed flowing reactor at 1 atm. The characterization results show that these MOFs decompose at relatively low temperatures. These materials did not have good activities for the water gas shift reaction under the operation conditions. Based on the methanol TPD results, Pt-ZIF8 showed some methanol oxidation activity. The low activity is possibly due to the low operation temperatures since the operation temperatures are limited by the stability of the MOF materials. This pioneering work indicates that it is critical to improve the stability of the MOFs during catalyst preparation and under the reaction conditions for their application in catalysis field.

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