Self-Healing Catalysts for Oxidative Environments


Reference #: 01031

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a method of synthesizing self-healing catalysts that eliminate the need for periodic regeneration caused by catalyst deactivation.

Invention Description:

The subject invention achieves self-healing functionality by carefully controlling crystallographic facets exposed on the active catalyst surface to promote the reduction of oxidized species that cause deactivation.

Potential Applications:

Extending catalyst lifetimes in many catalytic reactions, such as CO2 mitigation and biomass upgrading, during which water can oxidize and deactivate the catalyst

Advantages and Benefits:

1.    Excellent catalytic performance including activity and selectivity

2.    Able to self-reduce the growth of performance-degrading oxides

3.    Eliminates the need for catalyst regeneration and dramatically reduces maintenance costs associated with using catalysts in oxidizing environments


Heterogeneous catalysts power more than 90% of all chemical plants worldwide and play a key role in reducing environmental pollution. Common to all catalytic processes is catalyst deactivation and the associated loss of catalytic activity, which is responsible for millions of dollars in lost profits each year due to reduced productivity and expensive catalyst reactivation processes.

Catalyst deactivation is typically addressed by altering the composition and particle size of the catalysts. Although this will lengthen catalyst lifetimes, most catalysts still require periodic time off-stream for regeneration. One of the main deactivation mechanisms is the change of the catalyst oxidation state by oxidation or reduction. However, if the catalyst could be tuned to favor the reduction under reaction conditions, the catalyst could actively reduce the oxide as it grew, alleviating the need for regeneration. Recent studies have demonstrated that tuning the crystallographic facets exposed at the catalyst surface significantly alters the nature of surface redox reactions.

Testing and Development:

In-situ Raman spectroscopy showed that oxide formation on the surface of the catalyst was reversed under regular reaction conditions.


Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Self-Healing Catalysts: CO3O4 Nanorods for Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Utility United States 14/252,169 9,169,167 4/14/2014 10/27/2015    
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Jochen Lauterbach
Jason Hattrick-Simpers
Cun Wen
© 2024. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Inteum