TAP Reactor Development and Application in the Kinetic Characterization of Catalysts for Heterogeneously Catalyzed Gas Phase Reactions

Research output: Other contribution


This manuscript describes the application and further development of the TAP technique in kinetic characterization of heterogeneous catalysis. The major application of TAP systems is to study mechanisms, kinetics and transport phenomena in heterogeneous catalysis, all of which is made possible by the sub-millisecond time resolution. Furthermore, the kinetic information obtained can be used to gain an insight into the mechanism occurring over the catalyst system. This is advantageous as heterogeneous catalysts with an improved efficiency can be developed as a result. TAP kinetic studies are carried out at low pressure (~1x10-7 mbar) and TAP pulses are sufficiently small (1013-1015 molecules) so as to maintain this low pressure. The use of a small number of molecules in comparison to the total number of active sites means the state of the catalyst remains relatively unchanged. The use of the low intensity pulses also makes the pressure gradient negligible and so allows the TAP reactor system to operate in the Knudsen Diffusion regime, where gas-gas reactions are eliminated. Hence only gas-catalyst reactions are investigated and, by the use of moment analysis of observed exit flow, rate constants of elementary steps of the reaction can be obtained.

In this manuscript, two attempts to further the TAP technique are reported. Firstly, the work undertaken at QUB to attempt to control the number of molecules of condensable reagents that can be pulsed during a TAP pulse experiment is disclosed. Secondly, a collaborative project with SAI Ltd Manchester is discussed in a separate chapter, where technical details and validation of a customised time of flight mass spectrometer (ToF MS) for the QUB TAP-1 system are reported. A collaborative project with Cardiff Catalysis Institute focusing on the study of CO oxidation over hopcalite catalysts is also reported. The analysis of the experimental results has provided an insight into the possible mechanism of the oxidation of CO over these catalysts. A correction function has also been derived which accounts for the adsorption of reactant molecules over inert materials that are used for the reactor packing in TAP experiments. This function was then applied to the selective reduction of O2 in a H2 rich ethene feed, so that more accurate TAP moment based analysis could be conducted.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages230
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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