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Development of catalytic micro-reactors with ultra-high surface area-to-volume ratio for bioprocess and chemical process intensification

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ruba Mohamed, Zainura Noor, Omer Calkan, Dr Burak Calkan, Dr Teresa Ndlovu, Dr David Burke, Professor Galip Akay


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As process intensification and micro-reactor technologies become important components of sustainability, cheaper and more efficient micro-reactor system fabrication methods need to be developed. Such micro-reactors are also important in medical technologies, especially in tissue-engineering and biosensors. As a result, so called structured catalysts, catalyst supports and reactors have been developed in the form of monoliths or foams which can be coated with a thin layer of catalyst. Such structured reactors provide accessibility to the catalytic sites and high surface area-to-volume ratio (A/V) to enhance heat and mass transfer processes where the A/V ratio can reach 5000 m2/m 3. In order to enhance the surface area -to - volume ratio we have been developing novel 'nano-structured micro-porous monolithic materials' through a high internal phase emulsion polymerisation and subsequent metallization when high temperature applications are needed. These materials can have surface area-to-volume ratio of well over 100,000 m2/m 3. In addition to these very high A/V values, the chemical and pore structures of the materials can be controlled. The size of the interconnected pores can be controlled over a size range of 5000 micrometer to less then 0.5 micrometer. The walls of these materials (both polymeric and metallic) can be made nano-porous thus providing accessibility to the catalyst. Catalysts such as nickel can act as the scaffold with other suitable catalysts deposited on the scaffold. The control of the pore structure (interconnect and pore size, presence of nano-pores of the pore walls and surface chemistry of the pores) in micro-porous polymeric structured reactors is very important since the viability and function of the micro-organisms (cells or bacteria) are heavily dependent on these properties. Based on the pore structure dependency of animal cells or bacteria, it is possible to intensify the bioprocesses through the use of monolithic bio-micro-reactors made from nano-structured micro-porous polymers. These monolithic reactors respond faster and more efficient in conversion. In this study, we summarise the range of nano-structured micro-porous monolithic structured (bio)micro-reactors, their preparation and performance in (bio)catalytic reactions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mohamed R, Noor ZZ, Calkan OF, Calkan B, Ndlovu TM, Burke D, Akay G

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: CHISA: 17th International Congress of Chemical and Process Engineering

Year of Conference: 2006

Pages: no. 527

Publisher: Czech Society of Chemical Engineering


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 8086059456