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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R39436/01
Title: Supported Thin Films as Models for sulphated metal oxide catalysts.
Principal Investigator: Wilson, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BP Magnesium Elektron Ltd (UK)
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of York
Scheme: Fast Stream
Starts: 19 June 2001 Ends: 18 September 2004 Value (£): 60,758
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Catalysis & Applied Catalysis
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Electronics
Manufacturing Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The use of solid acid cataysts, have in recent years been applied to complex liquid phas hydrocarbon conversion reactions with a view to reducing waste formed in conventional fine and speciality chemical syntheses. A particularly interesting and versatile type of solid acid is sulphated zirconia, which has been widely investigated as a strong acid for alkane isomerisation and cracking reactions, and more recently in organic reactions such as alkylation, acylation and esterification. However the development of this catalyst has been largely empirical, and there is little fundamental understanding of the surface processes occurring under reaction conditions, or when these materials are pretreated or doped. This project aims to apply the techniques available for the preparation and characterisation of thin oxide films to the problem of understanding poison and promoter effects and acidic properties of sulphated zirconia catalysts. In doing so the structural and reactive properties of these catalytically relevant surfaces will be correlated with measurements made on real catalysts systems. The initial stages of this work will focus using surface science approaches to grow zirconia and sulphated zirconia films onto metalic and oxidic substrates. The structural, acidic and reactive properties of these films and the nature of the promoter species will then be studied. The methods developed in this study will then be applied to prepare reactive sulphated zirconia surfaces on an ATR crystal, which will be used for an IR study of the intermediates formed at the solid-liquid interface during a catalysed reaction
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Organisation Website: http://www.york.ac.uk