Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) destruction on platinum-alumina catalyst

M. Kajama, E. Gobina
Robert Gordon University Aberdeen,
United Kingdom

Keywords: flow-through membrane reactor, n-butane conversion, platinum supported alumina catalysts, propane conversion, propylene conversion, volatile organic compounds (VOCs)


The emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as acetone, propylene, ethanol, n-butane in air from numerous sources including petrochemical and refining operations, food processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, printing and a wide range of coating operations gives rise to deleterious health and environmental effects. Total oxidation is an attractive method in controlling these emissions due to the great amounts of energy saved if moderate temperature can be used. For wide application of catalytic combustion, thermally, mechanically and chemically stable catalysts are required. The operating costs for catalytic combustion are lower than those for thermal combustion and catalytic combustion is also more flexible compared to other means of VOC destruction. An innovation lies in the field of catalytic membrane reactors based on porous membranes which offer very attractive research opportunities to academic and industrial scientists working on catalysis. In this work a catalytic membrane reactor has been developed and tested for VOC destruction utilizing a porous ceramic membrane over Pt/γ-Al2O3 catalyst for VOC destruction from air stream. The membrane catalysts were characterized using the scanning electron microscopy to determine platinum particles distribution inside the alumina support. Energy dispersive X-ray analyses were also obtained. SEM and EDXA results indicated the presence of Pt. The surface area of the support and Pt/Al2O3 impregnated support were measured using the BET method from nitrogen adsorption-desorption at 77 K. A laboratory flow-through catalytic membrane has been used for the study. The influence parameters such as platinum (Pt) loading, total gas flow rate, VOC concentration, oxygen content and conversion temperature were examined. The products of the conversion were analysed by CO2 analyser (CT2100-Emissions Sensor).