Temperature plays a crucial role in chemical reactions, affecting both thermodynamics and kinetics. The precise measurement of temperature inside catalyst particles is essential for understanding reaction mechanisms and kinetics. A recent study by researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics introduced a novel technique for measuring temperature distribution inside industrial zeolite catalyst particles.

Traditional methods such as thermocouples and infrared thermal imaging are limited to surface measurements with low spatial resolution. This poses a challenge in accurately determining the temperature distribution inside catalyst particles, which are typically tens to hundreds of microns in size.

The research team developed a three-dimensional spatiotemporal-resolved imaging technique with a spatial resolution of 800 nm. By implanting up-conversion nano-thermometers into zeolite catalyst particles using a microfluidic chip, they were able to dynamically measure the temperature distribution during methanol-to-olefins reactions.

The new imaging technique allowed the researchers to investigate the effects of zeolite content and particle size on temperature distribution inside catalyst particles. They discovered how temperature variations influenced the utilization of active sites and the evolution of reaction intermediates during the catalytic process.

According to Prof. Ye, the developed technique provides a new pathway for understanding heat transfer in catalyst particles. This knowledge is crucial for the rational design and optimization of industrial catalysts and catalytic processes. By gaining insights into temperature distribution within catalyst particles, researchers can improve the efficiency and selectivity of chemical reactions in industrial settings.

The ability to measure temperature distribution inside catalyst particles at a microscale level opens up new avenues for advancing catalysis research. By harnessing this knowledge, scientists can enhance the performance of industrial catalysts and optimize chemical processes for improved productivity and sustainability.

Chemistry

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