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Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) is an industrial process for the production of valuable chemicals (e.g. gasoline and olefins) from crude oil feedstock . The high activity of the FCC catalyst particle is governed by the interplay of the alumina matrix, that ensures the transport and the pre-cracking of larger feedstock molecules, and the zeolite domains, where Brønsted acidic sites promote the catalytic cracking process with a high selectivity for the desired products, including gasoline and propylene .
The aim of this research project is to compare various deactivation effects [3-5] in FCC catalysts at different length scales, using 2D and 3D X-ray micro-spectroscopy: mapping poisoning metals will help to assess their role in catalyst aging phenomena and to model the deactivation mechanism in the FCC catalyst particle. In addition, staining with fluorescent probes will help to elucidate the nature and distribution of active sites.
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