Affiliation: University of Stavanger
Period: 01.01.2024  to: 31.12.2026  
Supervisor(s)/Mentor(s): Prof. Zhixin Yu and Prof. Sachin Chavan

This project aims to explore the activity of metal and non-metal (e.g., carbon) catalysts for hydrogen production from methane cracking. We will also look into fine-tuning the solid carbon product type by judicious choice of catalyst compositions and the reaction conditions. The project has the following objectives: 1) Determine which carbon-based catalyst is most efficient for the catalytic cracking of methane; 2) Tuning metal-based catalysts to produce carbon nanotubes as product with specific electrical properties; 3) Optimization of reaction conditions for scalability. The methodology consists of a series of experimental investigations, encompassing catalyst design and synthesis, catalyst characterization, catalyst performance evaluation on their effects on the final product and reaction process, mechanistic exploration, as well as carbon product characterization. The catalysts will be characterized using several techniques such as powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), N2 adsorption-desorption. The gaseous product will be analyzed with the on-line gas chromatography (GC). The methane conversion, turn-over frequency, yield, and nature of the carbon product will be evaluated. This research aspires to explore the methane conversion, catalysts material design and synthesis, and refining operating conditions for hydrogen and specific carbon products co-production. By addressing challenges in methane conversion, specific carbon product production, catalysts activity and stability, this investigation contributes to the advancements of sustainability of hydrogen production from methane cracking without CO2 emissions.

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