FASTCARD - FAST industrialisation by CAtalysts Research and Development

Interview: David Laprune

Name: David Laprune
Title: PhD student
Supervisor: Dr. Frédéric Meunier and Dr. David Farrusseng
FASTCARD partner: IRCELYON (CNRS) - Institut de Recherche sur la Catalyse et l'Environnement de Lyon

The study is carried out within the FASTCARD work package; WP1 hydrocarbon reforming

Why did you choose to work within the area of biofuels and renewable energy?

- Global warming, oil depletion and growing energy demand are major issues of our time. 2nd generation biofuels are particularly interesting as they could be an answer to the production of a cleaner and renewable energy. One of the main advantages of biofuels is that their production and use do not require major changes or additional investments in existing oil and gas infrastructures. With a background in O&G chemical engineering / catalysis, I naturally turned to this field.

How does your study relate to the aims of FASTCARD?

- We are currently developing a new type of zeolite-based catalyst which could be of great interest for the steam reforming (SR) of biomass-derived hydrocarbons. When biomass is gasified, light hydrocarbons are produced along with heavier ones, called tars, which are responsible of SR catalyst deactivation. By encapsulating the active metallic sites inside a molecular sieve zeolite membrane, we should limit tars access to these catalytic sites and prevent deactivation.

Please explain your approach and the methods and instrumentation you use to obtain your goals

- My work consist in developing a well-defined catalyst to get insights into the structure/activity relationship during the steam reforming process. Once synthetized, our home-made zeolite-based catalysts are characterized using a range of different techniques: HR-TEM, EDX, XRD, TPR, ICP-OES, chemisorption and model reactions. Catalytic activity and stability are tested in continuous flow mode on a simple lab-scale reforming unit using a simulated gasification gas composition. Reaction products are identified and quantified by an on-line Compact GC. Charactrization of post-mortem samples can be performed using the same techniques, to which can be added Raman spectroscopy and in-situ stucture sensitive-free reactions.

What research challenge are you currently focusing on?

- We are developing new type of catalysts and investigating their ability to be used in a high-temperature post-gasification steam reforming process that contains sulfur compounds and tars: this implies solving many textural and chemical deactivation issues.

How are you working with this topic?

- From beginning to end: the material is first synthetized, characterized, tested and post-characterized. This is the usual pathway to get information on the structure/activity relationship of a catalyst.
Also, this study is part of the FASTCARD project, which imply a close collaboration between WP1 partners and opportunities to have access to a wide range of existing facilities for characterizations and catalytic tests.

What kind of interests do you have beside your study?

Sports (swimming and running), arts and social life are my favorite interests for filling up my free time.


Published June 10, 2015

This project has received funding from the European Union's FP7 research and Innovation programme under GA. No. 604277