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A new heterogeneous catalyst for low-temperature VOC decomposition

By Tetsuo Satoh |

Professor Yuki Taniguchi at the Chemicals Research Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan, www.res.titech.ac.jp/~gosei/taniguchi/index.html) has developed a new catalyst system that decomposes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at lower temperatures than that required by conventional catalysts. The SILP (supported ionic liquid phase) catalyst is composed of silica gel impregnated with an ionic liquid that contains dispersed nano-particles of metal oxide (diagram). SILP can be dispersed in liquids for destroying dissolved VOCs, or can be packed in columns for scrubbing gas streams. In both cases, VOC destruction occurs at the IL film, which contains the nanocatalyst particles. SILP uses oxides of vanadium or molybdenum, so the cost for the catalyst is expected to be 1/10th to 1/100th that of alternative precious-metal catalysts (Pt or Pd). SILP may also find applications as a less-expensive alternative to silver as an antibacterial agent. Taniguchi’s group has prepared nanoparticles of V2O5, for example, by decomposing a V+4 complex in the ionic liquid solution. The catalytic performance of the V2O5 is then enhanced by impregnating these nanoparticles into the pores of SiO2. In laboratory trials on styrene decomposition,…
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