Douglas Romero

Research Project – Emiel Hensen/Douglas Romero

Hydrocracking is a catalytic cracking process that makes possible to convert high-boiling hydrocarbons into branched and lower-boiling products in the presence of hydrogen. Although hydrocracking of heavy oil fractions is well established in oil refining, the cracking of very long hydrocarbons brings differences that are not very well understood yet. In order to comprehend the mechanism that rules the selectivity in the hydrocracking of long n-paraffins, the synthesis of a set of acid materials with a wide range of pores is propose. The set of materials is compose of ordered mesoporous aluminated silicas (MCM-41, MCM-48, SBA-15), hierarchical zeolite Y and nanostructure zeolite ZSM-5. The acidity of the materials will be characterized with several techniques such as H/D exchange, COads IR, 1H MAS NMR and Pyridineads IR. Other techniques employed will be X-Ray diffraction (XRD) which allows to confirm the type of crystalline phase and Ar physisorption to determine the surface area and porosity of samples.

These acid materials will be loaded with Pt and Pd in order to obtain bifunctional catalysts. Pt and Pd have been extensively used as metal function for the hydrocracking reaction, and have shown superior hydrogenation/dehydrogenation activity in comparison with transition metals (WZrO2, Ni, NiMo, NiW). The catalysts will be characterized by CO/H2 chemisorption, TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy), 3D-TEM (Three-dimensional TEM) and neopentane hydrogenolysis. In addition, they will be tested performing the hydrocracking reaction of a model compound: n-hexadecane (C16); the results will be correlated with the properties previous characterized.


[1] J. Jin, C. Peng, J. Wang, H. Liu, X. Gao, H. Liu, C. Xu, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 53 (2014) 3406−3411.

[2] J. Weitkamp, ChemCatChem 4 (2012) 292 – 306.

For further information:

Douglas Romero (Helix 14, W 3.25), Tel 8724,

Emiel Hensen  (Helix 14, W 3.35), Tel 5178,