To main content

UOP and SINTEF cooperate on synchrotron catalyst studies

UOP and SINTEF cooperate on synchrotron catalyst studies

Published 09 December 2014

Recently SINTEF and UOP, a leading international supplier of catalysts, installed a test system for controlling the gas and liquid feed for in situ catalyst studies using high-energy synchrotron X-rays at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).

Fire menn fotografert foran utstyrsenhet med rør og ledninger.
Test System arrived at the APS at ANL outside Chicago. Martin Plassen (left) and Arne Karlsson (right) represent SINTEF; Simon Bare and Meghan Charochak (middle) represent UOP. Photo: SINTEF

The APS, located outside Chicago, is used by UOP to probe the structure of materials. This large facility is also used by many other organizations from around the globe, including universities, research institutes and companies.

The test system was constructed in the Department of Process intensification and Catalysis at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry in Oslo, and represents the latest in a series of development projects within a SINTEF/UOP alliance during the last 15 years, and builds on UOP's 20+ year experience of using synchrotron light sources.

The present system will be used to study catalysts in-situ or in operando – under conditions as similar to real industrial application as possible (flexible feeds, pressures up to 100 Bar). The interaction between the intense X-rays and the catalyst provides information important for understanding catalyst performance and behavior.

When fully operational, the new system will run fully automated and unattended tests, including data collection, product analysis and will communicate with beamline software and infrastructure. Automated operation at this level is still not common even in this high-technology environment.

UOP LLC, headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, USA, is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, process plants, and technical services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. UOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell Specialty Materials, a strategic business group of Honeywell.

SINTEF: a multi-disciplinary contract research institute – one of the largest in Europe. SINTEF Materials and Chemistry is involved in a wide range of projects and activities within the Energy and Environmental sectors.

UOP/SINTEF Alliance: Alliance for the development of tools and methodologies in High Throughput/Combinatorial Chemistry for preparation and testing and development of catalysts and adsorbents.


Luftfoto av stort sirkelrundt laboratorieanlegg som er en partikkel-akselerator.
The APS is one of the most technologically complex machines in the world. This premier national research facility provides ultra-bright, high-energy x-ray beams to more than 5,000 (and growing) scientists from around the United States and the world. Photo: courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory


Chief Scientist