Effect of Slurry Processing on the Properties of Catalytically Active Aerogel Material

Ann  Anderson, Union College

Effect of Slurry Processing on the Properties of Catalytically Active Aerogel Material

Ann M. Anderson, Bradford A. Bruno, Mary K. Carroll, Diana Lang, Joana Santos
Department of Mechanical Engineering & Department of Chemistry, Union College
Schenectady, NY 12302

We have developed a series of aerogel materials that show activity as three-way catalysts. These materials incorporate non-PGM metals such as nickel (Juhl et al. 2015), copper (Tobin et al. 2017, Anderson et al. 2020) and ceria (Posada et al. 2019) into a silica- or alumina-based backbone. To date, the catalytic performance of these materials has only been tested on aerogels in a dry granular form. To be a viable alternative to existing PGM-based washcoats, the aerogels need to withstand a slurrying process to enable coating onto a substrate. In this study, we slurried copper-alumina aerogel samples by adding aerogel powder to neutral and acidic (pH 4) aqueous solutions under mechanical stirring. The solution was then dried at 60 C under ambient pressure. Surface area measurements were performed for the aerogel samples as prepared, after heat treatment in air (24 h at 800 C), and after slurrying. As-prepared samples have the highest surface area (~300 m2/g) with a significant drop after the heat treatment step (to ~ 75 m2/g) likely due to sintering. Heat-treated samples were then slurried and no additional decrease in surface area was observed. Non-heat-treated samples were also slurried and those exhibited a less significant reduction in surface area (to ~200 m2/g). The fact that the aerogels retain their surface area after slurrying in both a neutral and acidic environment indicates that there is the potential for future washcoat applications. This poster will review the procedures used to make the aerogels and perform the slurrying study and present characterization results including surface area, pore distribution, XRD and catalytic test results.

Juhl, S.J., Dunn, N.J., Carroll, M.K., Anderson, A.M., Bruno, B.A., Madero, J.E., & Bono Jr, M.S. (2015). Epoxide-assisted alumina aerogels by rapid supercritical extraction. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 426, 141-149.

Tobin, Z.M., Posada, L.F., Bechu, A.M., Carroll, M.K., Bouck, R.M., Anderson, A.M., & Bruno, B.A. (2017). Preparation and characterization of copper-containing alumina and silica aerogels for catalytic applications. Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, 84(3), 432-445.

Anderson, A.M., Bruno, B.A., Dilone, F., LaRosa, M.T., Andre, T.F., Avanessian, C. and Carroll, M.K. (2020). Effect of Copper Loading in Copper-Alumina Aerogels on Three-Way Catalytic Performance. In press, Emission Control Science and Technology.

Posada, L.F., Carroll, M.K., Anderson, A.M., & Bruno, B.A. (2019). Inclusion of Ceria in Alumina-and Silica-Based Aerogels for Catalytic Applications. The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 152, 104536. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2019.05.004.

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