In: Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 1088-1092, 2012.
The overall aim of this research project is the development of a powerful camera to determine the complex pore space of single FCC catalyst particles. By making molecular movies of the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of various fluorescent ester molecules we aim to discriminate between molecular transport phenomena and reaction kinetics at the single-molecule and single-particle levels. These efforts will be complemented by exploring molecules which are look-alikes to those found in crude oil fractions, and for which we will alter their size as well as polarity/hydrophilicity. We wish to determine the acid contributions of the different components constituting an active FCC catalyst particle; in other words, we wish to relate porosity and acidity to specific components within a single FCC catalyst particle in 3-D and with nanometer resolution.