Chemistry Student Seminar: Jenica Madridejos



Jenica Madridejos (PhD Student)
University of Adelaide


Photocatalytic conversion of methane by metal-based clusters on TiO2

Methane (CH4), the principal component of natural gas, is usually converted into longer hydrocarbons via the syngas (CO + H2) route which requires high temperatures (T> 800˚C). Direct transformation of methane to higher value products such as methanol and ethane would be economically viable as 60% of the cost of methane-to-olefins (MTO) process is mainly for the methane reforming to syngas. To lower the reaction temperature for CH4 conversion, previous works have tested several co-catalysts on different semiconductors utilising photo-energy instead of thermal-energy (i.e. heat).

The general aim of my research project is to explore whether photocatalysts made up of metal clusters on TiO2 can be used to accelerate the production of C2H6 and CH3OH from CH4 and H2O. Experimental results to date have shown that chemically synthesised, ligand-stabilised gold clusters are the best among other tested metal-based clusters supported on TiO2 in transforming methane.

To gain an understanding of the underlying process, density functional theory calculations are also being performed to calculate the electronic structure and binding interactions of CH4 and H2O on the Au/TiO2catalyst.

Tagged in Physical Sciences, Chemistry, Research seminar, For current students, North Terrace campus