Dr. Kyriaki Polychronopoulou, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Center for Catalysis and Separations (CeCaS) at Khalifa University, and her research group successfully participated in the Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall 2021 Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, which was held from 29 November till 2 December 2021.
The MRS conference is an international platform for materials research that brings together researchers from fields of chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering. Among the eminent keynote speakers at the conference was Sir Fraser Stoddart, 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The work of two KU PhD students from CeCAS was presented in the conference. Ayesha Alkhoori presented her research on developing catalysts for CO2 conversion to fuels. Her talk was titled “Development of Composite Dual Functional Catalysts and Mechanistic Insights for CO2 Methanation Reaction.” This research investigated Ni-based catalysts with composite supports which were thoroughly studied in terms of their physicochemical properties as well as the reaction mechanistic pathways. The latter is focused on understanding the reaction mechanism of CO2 hydrogenation using Operando SSITKA-DRIFTS technique. Understanding the governing mechanism is a key to the rational design of highly efficient catalysts.
Aseel Hussien delivered a presentation on her work titled “Elucidating the role of dopants in the carbon paths of dry reforming of methane over Ni catalysts using transient kinetics and isotopic techniques.” Her fundamental work elucidates the carbon formation pathways under realistic reaction conditions. In particular, emphasis is given to decouple the contribution of CO2 and CH4 decomposition on the surface of the catalyst and the relative contribution of each reaction towards coke deposition on the catalyst surface. Coke deposition is one of the main challenges of the dry reforming of methane reaction and the bottleneck of its industrialization.