Spotlight Feature – Ajay Tomer
University of Liverpool
At the Centre, my research is focused on transforming plastic waste into chemicals or fuels. Thermochemical pathway such as hydrogenolysis offers a promising route to effectively convert plastic to hydrocarbons owing to mild reaction conditions and better control over product selectivity. In this context, I have synthesized new heterogeneous formulations based on various faceted oxides of controlled shapes and sizes and impregnated these oxides with PGMs and transition metals. Facets impact to a great extent the physicochemical properties of catalysts such as metal-support interaction, reducibility, dispersion, coordination environment, etc., thereby affecting overall catalytic activity. Our preliminary results on the hydrogenolysis of the model compound (Octadecane) with faceted catalysts are quite promising and far better than non-faceted ones.
Further, I will evaluate the performances of synthesized faceted catalysts in the hydrogenolysis of various polymers such as polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene, etc., by controlling various parameters (temperature, time, pressure, metal loading, etc.). I foresee achieving high yields of liquid alkanes from plastics under mild reaction conditions by utilizing low metal-loaded catalysts.