Hierarchically structured catalysts

Many processes employing porous catalysts are plagued by significant diffusion limitations, which reduce yields and selectivity toward the desired products. Additionally, as a catalyst is left on-stream, undesired by-products of the reactions, such as coke, may lead to pore blockage and catalyst deactivation. Hierarchically structured catalysts include a desired distribution of active sites, and a network of broad pores that allow more facile access of the active sites and mitigate catalyst deactivation.

We use theory-assisted design to guide the synthesis of hierarchically structured, nanoporous catalysts with desired chemical and geometrical structure at all scales – from active site to pellet – and superior activity, selectivity and stability against deactivation. We keep reactor engineering constraints and opportunities in mind in our optimization.

Researchers: Jayesh Bhatt and Michael Nigra.


  1. S. M. Rao and M.-O. Coppens,
    "Increasing Robustness against Deactivation of Nanoporous Catalysts by Introducing an Optimized Hierarchical Pore Network - Application to Hydrodemetalation"
    Chem. Eng. Sci.
    , 2012, 83, 66. (Special Issue for MACKIE)
  2. S.M. Rao and M.-O. Coppens,
    "Mitigating deactivation effects through rational design of hierarchically structured catalysts -- Application to hydrodemetalation",
    Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2010, 49, 11087. (Special Issue for ISCRE 21).
  3. G. Wang and M.-O. Coppens,
    "Rational design of hierarchically structured porous catalysts for autothermal reforming of methane",
    Chem. Eng. Sci., 2010, 65, 2344.

Hierarchically structured catalysts