The innovation engine for new materials

Lorraine Crowley


University College Cork


Chemistry with Forensic Science


Alan Derk

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Professor Eric McFarland

Faculty Sponsor's Department: 

Chemical Engineering

Project Title: 

The Effect Of Vanadium On The Catalytic Activity Of Lanathum Oxide For The Partial Oxidation Of Methane

Project Description: 

Methane production currently far outweighs its consumption. Due to the high costs involved in the transport and storage of methane, huge quantities are vented/flared each year. Metal oxide catalysts have the capacity to convert this wasted resource into more easily liquefiable gases or syngas (CO and H2). This study hypothesised that the presence of vanadium would change the activity of Lanthanum Oxide (La2O3) for the partial oxidation of methane. La2O3 catalysts containing Vanadium were synthesised using Self-Propagating High Temperature Synthesis and Wet Impregnation. The catalytic activitiy of the samples was tested using Temperature Programmed reactions in a quartz tube packed bed reactor. Crystallographic analysis was performed using X-Ray Diffraction. The catalytic surface was examined using X-Ray Photo-electron Spectroscopy, and the surface area was measured using nitrogen absorbtion. The catalysts showed both enhanced and stunted activity depending on the concentration of vanadium. The catalysts demonstrated selectivity for CO/H2 over CO2/H2O. The results of this study can be used as a basis for further research on this catalytic system.