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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Iowa State University
  • Aaron Rossini
  • (515) 294-8952
Award Date:08/20/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 224,570
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 224,570
  • FY 2019=$224,570
Start Date:09/01/2019
End Date:08/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Correlating Molecular Structure and Activity in Boron-containing ODH Catalysts
Federal Award ID Number:1916809
DUNS ID:005309844
Parent DUNS ID:005309844
Program Officer:
  • Robert McCabe
  • (703) 292-4826

Awardee Location

Street:1138 Pearson
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Iowa State University
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

As the world population grows, the demand for consumer goods, which are made from building-block chemicals such as ethylene and propylene, increases. The project focuses on discovery of energy-efficient catalysts for the production of these chemical building-blocks from natural gas with minimal generation of undesired by-products such as carbon dioxide. Preliminary studies by the investigators have shown exceptional promise of boron-containing catalysts, but deeper, atomic-level understanding is needed to further improve the catalyst performance and durability. The project will utilize a combination of new catalyst synthesis protocols, state-of-the-art solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and computational methods to obtain the needed atomic-level understanding, and use that insight to design improved catalysts. The research will support U.S. clean-energy security through its potential for the efficient conversion of our nation's vast shale gas resources to value-added fuels and chemicals. Oxidative Dehydrogenation (ODH) of light alkanes is a promising alternative for the production of important chemical building blocks. However, despite decades of research, a highly selective catalyst has remained elusive, as over-oxidation is a facile and thermodynamically favored process. Recent studies by the lead investigator's group has demonstrated that boron-containing catalysts (hBN, BNNT, WB, among others) are highly selective catalysts for the ODH of light alkanes. For propane ODH, propylene selectivity as high as 80% can be obtained up to 20% conversion, compared to 60% propylene selectivity at 10% propane conversion for the state-of-the-art vanadium oxide-based catalyst. Given the recent discovery of this class of materials as ODH catalysts, there are many fundamental questions that need to be answered regarding the active sites and their formation. Controlled synthesis, state-of-the-art solid-state NMR (SSNMR) spectroscopy, and computational modelling will be utilized to gain insights into the catalytically active site(s) and build up a structure-performance relationship for boron-containing ODH catalysts. The work will contribute to a molecular-level understanding of a complex problem that is of industrial importance. Our multidisciplinary approach comprised of synthesis, SSNMR characterization, catalytic testing, and computational modelling will train the participating students to use information from a variety of fields to develop a detailed picture of a complex system. Additionally, the collaborative nature of this work will help the students grow as productive members of a research team. Beyond the targeted reactions, the study will be of value to the broader catalysis community because of the generalized catalytic insights and the methods developed for characterization of heterogeneous materials. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Love, Alyssa M. and Cendejas, Melissa C. and Thomas, Brijith and McDermott, William P. and Uchupalanun, Pajean and Kruszynski, Catherine and Burt, Samuel P. and Agbi, Theodore and Rossini, Aaron J. and Hermans, Ive "Synthesis and Characterization of Silica-Supported Boron Oxide Catalysts for the Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Propane" The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, v.123, 2019, p.. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b07429 Citation details  

Altvater, Natalie R. and Dorn, Rick W. and Cendejas, Melissa C. and McDermott, William P. and Thomas, Brijith J. and Rossini, Aaron and Hermans, Ive "B‐MWW Zeolite: The Case Against Single‐Site Catalysis" Angewandte Chemie International Edition, v.59, 2020, p.. doi:10.1002/anie.201914696 Citation details  

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