Faiza Hassan

Heterogeneous Catalysis in Supercritical Fluids: The Enhancement of Catalytic Stability to Coking

hassanFaiza Hassan
Previous Qualification: BEng (Hons)
Jan 2008 – Jan 2011
Sponsor: EPSRC

Faiza Hassan is a PhD student in the Chemical Engineering Department. She was born in Somalia and raised in the Netherlands. In 2002 she came to the UK to study A-levels, then attended the University of Birmingham and received a BEng degree in Chemical Engineering in 2007.

In January 2008 she joined the reaction group and her research area is Heterogeneous Catalysis in Supercritical Fluids.

The overall objective of the project is to recommend suitable conditions to maximise catalyst lifetime. Two reactions of industrial relevance have been selected: isomerisation of hexene and hydrogenation of naphthalene. Catalytic reactions are used across a wide range of industrial manufacturing applications from petrochemicals to fine chemicals. During their lifetime catalysts deactivate, that is lose some of their ability to increase the rate of reaction.

In this project supercritical fluids will be used to help remove coke from the catalyst surface, by operating the reaction in a supercritical solvent such as C02. By carefully adjusting the pressure and temperature, the coke will be dissolved and transported in C02 so that less is deposited inside the catalyst and the useful lifetime is extended.

Characterization tests will be carried out to determine how the catalyst pore structure changes between the fresh unused catalyst, and the catalyst used under sub and supercritical conditions. From these characterisation tests a computer model of catalyst structure and behaviour will be developed, allowing for diffusion of reactants into the pores, reaction rate and coke deposition.

By running the model under different input conditions, the optimal catalyst pore structure and reactor operating conditions such as temperature and pressure will be selected.

Relevant publication

Niki J Collins; Gary A Leeke, PhD; Rachel H Bridson, PhD; Faiza Hassan; Liam Michael Grover, PhD. The influence of silica on pore diameter and distribution in PLA scaffolds produced using supercritical CO2. Journal of Materials Science.