Zeolite Materials for Trapping Vehicle Emissions

Project Summary

Research Advisor:  Eleni A. Kyriakidou (Chemical and Biological Engineering)

Project Theme:  Pollutant Source Control

Stringent emission regulations led to significant attention in reducing vehicle emissions especially during cold-start that takes place within the first 1-2 minutes of vehicle operation.  One potential approach to regulate the cold-start emissions, including hydrocarbons (HCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), is to use hydrocarbon and NOx traps.  Zeolites have emerged as potential trap materials due to their tunable acidity, high surface area, and thermal stability.  Fundamental understanding of the adsorption/desorption behavior of molecules commonly present in the vehicle exhaust, e.g. CO, CO2, H2, C2H4, NO and H­2O,  is generally underappreciated in the current literature.  Therefore, in this project, the adsorption and desorption efficiency of CO, CO2, H2, C2H4, NO and H­2O will be experimentally evaluated and the results will be compared towards computational DFT measurements. The REU student will synthesize Ag containing zeolites and will characterize their physical and chemical properties by using transmission electron microscope (TEM), hydrogen-temperature programmed reduction (H2-TPR), and CO-pulse chemisorption.  The adsorption and desorption properties of the synthesized materials will be evaluated by using a microreactor.

Primary Activities:  Zeolites; emissions control; adsorption/desorption

Skills/Courses Recommended:  Reaction engineering/kinetics, basic knowledge of thermodynamics

Anticipated Conference Participation:  Annual AIChE Meeting