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Oxidative chemisorption of SO_2 on γ - Al_2O_3 and deposition of H_2-permselective SiO_2 films


Nam, Suk Woo (1989) Oxidative chemisorption of SO_2 on γ - Al_2O_3 and deposition of H_2-permselective SiO_2 films. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


The interaction of SO_2 with γ - Al_2O_3 and the deposition of H_2 permselective SiO_2 films have been investigated. The adsorption and oxidative adsorption of SO_2 on γ - Al_2O_3 have been examined at temperatures 500-700°C by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). At temperatures above 500°C most of SO_2 adsorbed on the strong sites on alumina. The adsorbed SO_2 species was characterized by an IR band at 1065 cm^(-1). The equilibrium coverage and initial rate of adsorption decreased with temperature suggesting a two-step adsorption. When γ - Al_2O_3 was contacted with a mixture of SO_2 and O_2, adsorption of SO_2 and oxidation of the adsorbed SO_2 to a surface sulfate characterized by broad IR bands at 1070 cm^(-1), 1390 cm^(-1) took place. The results of a series of TGA experiments under different atmospheres strongly suggest that surface SO_2 and surface sulfate involve the same active sites such that SO_2 adsorption is inhibited by already formed sulfate. The results also indicate a broad range of site strengths.

The desorption of adsorbed SO_2 and the reductive desorption of oxidatively adsorbed SO_2 have been investigated by microreactor experiments and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Temperature programmed reduction (TPR) of adsorbed SO_2 showed that SO_2 was desorbed without significant reaction with H_2 when H_2 concentration was low while considerable reaction occurred when 100% H_2 was used. SO_2 adsorbed on the strong sites on alumina was reduced to sulfur and H_2S. The isothermal reduction experiments of oxidatively adsorbed SO_2 reveal that the rate of reduction is very slow below 550°C even with 100% H_2. The reduction product is mainly composed of SO_2. TPR experiments of oxidatively adsorbed SO_2 showed that H_2S arose from a sulfate strongly chemisorbed on the surface.

Films of amorphous SiO_2 were deposited within the walls of porous Vycor tubes by SiH_4 oxidation in an opposing reactants geometry : SiH_4 was passed inside the tube while O_2 was passed outside the tube. The two reactants diffused opposite to each other and reacted within a narrow front inside the tube wall to form a thin SiO_2 film. Once the pores were plugged the reactants could not reach each other and the reaction stopped. At 450°C and 0.1 and 0.33 atm of SiH_4 and O_2, the reaction was complete within 15 minutes. The thickness of the SiO_2 film was estimated to be about 0.1 µm. Measurements of H_2 and N_2 permeation rates showed that the SiO_2 film was highly selective to H_2 permeation. The H_2:N_2 flux at 450°C varied between 2000-3000.

Thin SiO_2 films were heat treated in different gas mixtures to determine their stability in functioning as high-temperature hydrogen-permselective membranes. The films were heat-treated at 450-700°C in dry N_2, dry O_2, N_2-H_2O, and O_2-H_2O mixtures. The permeation rates of H_2 and N_2 changed depending on the original conditions of film formation as well as on the heat treatment. Heating in dry N_2 slowly reduced the permeation rates of both H_2 and N_2. Heating in a N_2-H_2O atmosphere led to a steeper decline of H_2 permeability. But the permeation rate of N_2 increased or decreased according to whether the film deposition had been carried out in the absence or presence of H_2O vapor, respectively. Thermal treatment in O_2 caused rapid decline of the permeation rates of H_2 and N_2 in films that were deposited under dry conditions. The decline was moderate in films deposited under wet conditions.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Chemical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Restricted to Caltech community only
Research Advisor(s):
  • Gavalas, George R.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:30 May 1989
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06282013-092232283
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7909
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:28 Jun 2013 20:19
Last Modified:28 Jun 2013 20:19

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