Modeling, optimization and experimental studies of supported nano-bimetallic catalyst for simultaneous total conversion of toluene and cyclohexane in air using a hybrid intelligent algorithm
This study reveals the simultaneous deep oxidation of toluene and cyclohexane over optimal supported bimetallic catalysts over almond shell based activated carbon. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to construct a hybrid intelligent model to predict and determine an optimal supported bimetallic catalyst to oxidize aromatic and aliphatic compounds in air. The effects of preparation and operating parameters, including oxidation temperature, initial concentration of VOCs, structure of the catalyst and metal oxide content, on VOCs conversion were studied by modeling a database containing 50 data points derived from our previously published study, by an artificial neural network (ANN). Reported experimental data were predicted by a feed-forward network with 11 neurons and tansig function in the hidden layer. The non-linear network demonstrated stronger influence of oxidation temperature and cobalt content on the complete conversion of toluene and cyclohexane in the mixture. A hybrid model containing a genetic algorithm (GA) and an ANN were employed to realize the optimum catalyst at constant operating conditions for the complete conversion of toluene and cyclohexane in air. A well dispersed optimal alloy catalyst with 8 wt% metal oxide content (2.5 wt% copper oxide and 5.5 wt% cobalt oxide) over activated carbon was synthesized by heterogeneous deposition–precipitation for the complete conversion of toluene (model = 95.50%, experimental = 96%) and cyclohexane (model = 91.88% and experimental = 91%), simultaneously. Characterizations of the optimal catalyst were carried out by XRD, TEM, ICP, FESEM and BET analyses to justify its highest performance.