Select Page

This article serves as an outline of the range of applications of thermal analysis techniques that are used to study catalysis. Thermal analysis techniques are beneficial to studying catalysts and understanding surface species. Thermal analysis can be used for the activating, characterizing, and testing of catalysts.

The thermal analysis techniques which are most often used for characterizing catalysis are temperature-programmed desorption (TPD), temperature-programmed reduction (TPR) and temperature-programmed oxidation (TPO). Temperature-programmed techniques are simple to perform and cost-effective. TPD, TPR and TPO are similar to one another, using almost identical equipment.

What is Thermal Analysis

Thermal analysis is an area of material science that focuses on studying the thermophysical and kinetic attributes of materials with respect to temperature. Thermal properties can be quantified as a function of temperature or time across a broad temperature range between 150°C to 1600°C.

Thermal analysis is employed for studying such parameters as  thermal stability and decomposition temperature.

Materials such as plyboards, polymer composites, films, polymers, metallic composites, and rubber-based composites use thermal analysis techniques to investigate their thermal properties. Some examples are:

  • Thermomechanical analysis (TMA) deformations and dimension
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), heat difference
  • Differential thermal analysis (DTA), temperature difference
  • Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), mass (weight)
  • Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), mechanical stiffness, and damping
  • Evolved gas analysis (EGA), gaseous decomposition or desorption products
  • Laser-flash analysis (LFA), thermal diffusivity, and thermal conductivity
  • Dielectric thermal analysis (DEA), dielectric permittivity, and loss factor
  • Dilatometry (DIL), volume
  • Pressurized TGA (PTGA), mass changes as a function of pressure

More About Catalysis

Catalysis is a unique field of science in that it has had a vast impact on modern chemical technology. Generally, commercial catalysts consists of a solid surface with a large active surface area. These can either be ceramic type materials or finely dispersed metals supported on a high surface area material

Because catalytic processes require the adsorption of molecules on the upper layer, the characterization of this active surface is critical for gaining the predictive power required to form new catalysts.

Catalysis and chemical engineering have made a lot of progress in clarifying the key steps required in catalytic reactions. Optimum catalysis requires the knowledge of adsorption of reactants, reaction to form the necessary product directly or indirectly, desorption of products, and transport of the products from surface to gas stream.

Hiden Analytical Solutions for Catalysis and Thermal Analysis

The CATLAB is a modular microreactor system, created by experts at Hiden Analytical, offering best-possible analysis using seamless hardware-software integration. This equipment uses a low  thermal mass furnace with built-in air cooling and can reach temperature 1000 °C  ranges of 1-20 °C per minute.

Hiden Analytical also produce a range of gas analysers, for example the HPR-20 EGA, for integration with other thermal analysis equipment. Hiden Analytical are experts in the field of catalysis and thermal analysis, if you would like to find out more about their solutions, or would like some advice on your applications, contact the team today.