Studying a New Testing Method for Industrial Catalysts
Catalysts are an essential energy transformation technology that allow control of the direction and rate of chemical reactions. Of the total U.S. output, catalytic reactions account for about $4 trillion worth of goods and services. Key drivers for the invention of new catalysts include the development of new sustainable, efficient process for the production of hydrogen, fuels, chemical feedstocks, polymers and advanced materials with negligible emissions and reduced environmental footprint. New catalytic materials are also needed to replace existing outdated processes that are safer, produce negligible emissions, require lower capital and demonstrate a lower cost of manufacturing.
Mithra Technologies, Inc. has developed a unique pulse response technique that can capture detailed kinetic data on complex industrial catalysts, moving current limits of practice in catalyst development from largely trial-and-error methodologies toward incremental synthesis and guided evolution of catalytic properties.
Mithra Technologies, Inc. has designed two new instrumentation prototypes that would greatly enhance their existing reactor system but do not have the resources to support qualified personnel (Ph.D. scientists) who can conduct peer review quality research to demonstrate how these tools support Mithra’s unique approach to catalyst development.
Through this voucher, Mithra Technologies, Inc. will collaborate with INL to develop a microreactor ensemble that will enable researchers to study the kinetic effects of synthesis modifications on industrial catalytic materials without exposure to ambient conditions.
If successful, methodologies developed in this voucher will rapidly decrease the time it takes to develop superior catalyst formulations that use less energy and produce fewer waste products.
PROJECT INNOVATION + ADVANTAGES
Mithra Technologies, Inc. is a company that has been built around the TAP (Temporal Analysis of Products) Reactor System, a unique pulse response technique used for catalyst development. What makes the TAP technique distinct in catalyst development is the ability to capture detailed kinetic data on complex industrial catalysts.
Alternative approaches either rely on simplified model materials or are limited to describing the slow reaction steps of a complex mechanism. Mithra’s long-term focus is to implement a new paradigm in the way catalytic materials are understood and developed. The conventional methodology relies heavily on trial-and-error. The 'Incremental Kinetic Synthesis' is focused on understanding the link between a material's composition and its kinetic properties using the TAP (Temporal Analysis of Products) reactor system.
The broader impact of a successful outcome of this project is a new process for industrial catalyst development that supplants the conventional paradigm based on trial-and-error experimentation. This will increase the adoption rate of the TAP technique in academic, government and industrial catalyst development laboratories and introduce two new products that enhance the performance of the existing TAP system.
Read about additional projects.