Acid/base-treated activated carbon catalysts for the low-temperature endothermic cracking of n-dodecane with applications in hypersonic vehicle heat management systems

Kyoung Ho Song, Soon Kwan Jeong, Byung Hun Jeong, Kwan Young Lee, Hak Joo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Hypersonic aircrafts suffer from heat management problems caused by the air friction produced at high speeds. The supercritical catalytic cracking of fuel is endothermic and can be exploited to remove heat from the aircraft surfaces using specially designed heat management systems. Here, we report that an acid/base-treated activated carbon (AC) catalyst shows superior performance to the conventional ZSM-5 catalyst at 4 MPa and 450 °C. Further, under these conditions, coke formation is thermodynamically avoided. Of the prepared catalysts, the AC catalyst treated with NaOH and subsequently with HNO3 (denoted AC-3Na-N) was the most active catalyst, showing the highest selectivity toward light olefins and best heat sink capacity. The acid/base-treated ACs and ZSM-5 catalysts were characterized by scanning transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, NH3 temperature-programmed desorption, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy measurements. Characterization reveals the importance of acid strength and density in promoting the cracking reaction pathway to light olefins observed over the acid/base-treated AC catalysts, which show comparable activity at 450 °C to that of the ZSM-5 catalyst operated above 550 °C. The low-temperature activity suppressed coke and aromatic compound (coke precursors) formation. The stability of the acid/base-treated activated carbon catalysts was confirmed over a time-on-stream of 30 min.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1149
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCatalysts
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct

Keywords

  • Acid/base treatment
  • Activated carbon
  • Brønsted acids
  • Heat sink
  • Lewis acids
  • N-dodecane cracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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