Interview: David Laprune
Name: David Laprune
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?
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.
What kind of interests do you have beside your study?