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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R27464/01
Title: New Catalysts For the Hydrocracking of High RMM Fractions of Coal Derived Liquids Adn of Heavy Hydrocarbon Liquids
Principal Investigator: Bridgwater, Professor AV
Other Investigators:
Hriljac, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Volclay Ltd
Department: Sch of Engineering and Applied Science
Organisation: Aston University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 April 2002 Ends: 31 March 2005 Value (£): 94,361
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis Coal Technology
Oil & Gas Extraction
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Energy
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Difficulties in hydrocracking the high molecular mass fraction of coal derived liquids into lighter products, such as transport fuels, remains a major obstacle to the commercialisation of coal liquefaction technology. Similar problems with the processing of heavy residues limit the economic return from petroleum refining. Recent collaboration between the proposers, at imperial and Aston, now suggests an exciting advance in this hydrocracking step with the use of novel pillared clay catalysts. These new materials out-perform existing commercial catalysts, particularly in their effectiveness and resistance to deactivation. The proposed project comprises three components: catalyst synthesis (Aston), catalyst characterisation (Birmingham) and catalyst testing (Aston, Imperial) with a variety of petroleum, coal and also bio-mass derived heavy fractions. The scale-up of the syntheses of the currently successful catalysts will be developed from the bench to larger scale in a purpose built reactor. Further new catalysts will be prepared using conventional ion exchange techniques and also microwave driven reactions. Catalyst characterisation work will focus on the solid-state chemistry aspects of the catalysts and their precursors. Characterisation of the solids before and after use will be correlated with their catalytic properties. The aim will be the design of more selective, effective and robust catalysts. Hydrocracking reactivities of the new catalysts will be measured in a microbomb reactor (imperial), at temperatures up to 450 C and pressures up to 200 bar, and in a microwave reactor (Aston) under more moderate conditions. The extent of hydrocracking achieved will be estimated by a suite of analytical techniques including SEC for molecular mass distribution, UVF spectroscopy for aromatic cluster size determination and NMR spectroscopy for detecting PNA-ring structural changes. The latter technique will be the subject of Particular study
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.aston.ac.uk