Shanti Kiran Nayak, Angelica Benavidez, Lok-kun Tsui, Fernando Garzon
University of New Mexico
Oxidative Coupling of methane using electrochemisty provides enhanced control of catalyst redox state and nanocatalyst activity. Michaels and Vayenas  demonstrated the superiority of electrochemical process over conventional catalytic methods for dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene. The presence of electrical potential can dramatically alter the energy profile of the chemical reaction, by lowering the activation barrier for the forward reaction.  The electrochemical promotion of catalyst is a vast and important field however, the data is inconsistent. Here an electrochemical microreactor is being designed to carry out OCM with better control over the reaction and oxidation products. By designing cell capacitance and resistivity, the reactor can be switched at high rates and this can change the methane conversion selectivity. Porous yttria stabilized zirconia and gadolinium doped ceria can be used as electrolyte materials and Pt group metals and lanthanum perovskite as catalysts. The micro reactors are fabricated using ceramic additive manufacturing. The benefits of using additive manufacturing include rapid prototyping and use of multiple materials. The Hyrel System 30M 3D printer is used for the extrusion of ion conducting pastes and ceramic materials and there has been success in printing Lanthanum Manganite, YSZ and Pt thin film.
(1) Michaels, J. N.; Vayenas, C. G. J. Catal. 1984, 85 (2), 477–487.
(2) Gür, T. M. Energy Combust. Sci. 2016, 54, 1–64.