“Catalysis with excited molecules - making mode selectivity practical”

DIFFER, University of Twente, Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology, and Radboud University invite you to participate in a matchmaking event to prepare for an NWO TTW Perspectief program application on the topic:

Catalysis with excited molecules - making mode selectivity practical

Workshop organisers: Gerard van Rooij (DIFFER), Leon Lefferts (UT), Gerrit Kroesen & Volker Hesssel (TU/e), Andrzej Stankiewicz (TUD), Jos Oomens (RU)

Increasing the share of intermittent renewables in the energy mix to a level significant to current fossil fuel shares, with the ultimate ambition of realizing a circular economy, necessitates novel solutions to store and convert electrical energy. In particular, conversion of electricity into chemical potential energy will be essential to enable integration of sustainable energy in other sectors and to contribute to decarbonisation of e.g. transport (power-to-fuel conversion) and chemical industry (power-to-chemicals).

In a truly circular scheme, it is unavoidable to rely on renewable raw materials only, which are in essence CO2, H2O and N2. Methane (CH4), as transitional feedstock or sourced from bio streams, can be added as it is high on the industrial wish list for direct transformation into higher hydrocarbons. These highly stable molecules will only react in thermodynamically strongly uphill reaction schemes for which, apart from electrolysis of H2O, no viable industrial scheme yet exist. The present programme aims to develop a new approach to traditional catalysis to fill this gap in the present day industrial toolbox.
The fundaments on which the proposed Perspectief programme builds are the concepts of mode selective chemistry: energy provided in a degree of freedom that deforms the molecule towards the (desired) transition state configuration enhances reaction rate, selectivity and/or efficiency. These concepts have been demonstrated upon laser excitation of vibrational degrees of freedom by single to few quanta. The bottlenecks that have been preventing these concepts to reach some degree of industrial maturity are the inherent overall energy inefficiency of excitation with lasers, the low levels of excitation that are typically within reach, and IVR, Intramolecular Vibrational Relaxation,relaxation processes at time scales shorter than typical reaction times. The present programme aims to overcome these bottlenecks by the high degrees of efficient internal (multi-quantum) excitation that can be achieved in strong out-of-equilibrium flow generated in interaction with plasma phase excitation in combination with the natural long vibrational lifetimes in the small molecules that happen to be the molecules of choice in a circular economy.

In effect, the programme will contribute to:

  • solving intermittency issues and increasing deployment potential of wind and photovoltaics (topsector Energie);
  • providing means to re-use CO2 and reduce the carbon footprint of fertilizer production (NWA route “Circulaire economie en grondstoffenefficiëntie” & topsector Chemie);
  • enabling “electrification of the chemical industry” (roadmap ECN-TNO).

Registration is not possible anymore. The workshop was planned for December 15th but has been postponed in view of unavailability of stakeholders.

De Zaale 20
5612 AJ Eindhoven

Please contact G [368] J [368] vanRooij [28] differ [368] nl (Gerard van Rooij) for more information or questions about this workshop.