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The catalytic shock tube: a new tool to explore catalytic reaction mechanisms

Recently a catalytic shock tube has been developed to explore heterogeneous reaction mechanisms in the absence of transport limitations. The details of the theory and operation of this new technique have been published in 2009 in Volume 21. This chapter presents results obtained from this first of its kind catalytic shock tube apparatus exploring the mechanistic sequence of the catalytic partial oxidation methane. The data provide critical insight into the reactions associated with the catalytic conversion of methane to syngas allowing for the identification of reaction steps, a largely contested topic in the scientific community. The technique probes the reaction sequence in the complete absence of mass transfer, yielding true intrinsic kinetics. Reaction timescales ranged between 0.85 and 6 milliseconds, resulting in the production of CO2 and H2O only with no CO or H2 detected. These results confirm that the mechanistic pathway for reaction between CH4 and O2 is through the deep-oxidation or indirect route that produces fully oxidized products without going through a CO intermediate. This settles a current debate in the literature regarding the mechanism for the catalytic partial oxidation of methane, definitively proving the reaction proceeds through complete oxidation followed by reforming steps.

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Print publication date
09 May 2018
Copyright year
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ePub eISBN

From the book series:
SPR - Catalysis