CE08 - Matériaux métalliques et inorganiques et procédés associés

Hierachical Advanced Mesoporous Monoliths by Additive Manufacturing – HAMMAM

Submission summary

HAMMAM finds itself at the crossroad of nanomaterials science and advanced additive manufacturing technologies. The recent discovery of new low-dimensional cage-type silica nanostructures (ca. 10 nm) has led to the subsequent development of an innovative strategy for the integration of porous nanostructures with light-based 3D printing (stereolithography). This approach relies on a photoresponsive ligand on inorganic core (PLIC) ink design. PLIC inks based on silica nanocages allow for the direct 3D printing of mesoporous parts. The intrinsic porosity and versatile functionalization of these nano-sized building blocks is now generating a compelling opportunity space to create advanced materials with multiscale structural control and spatially resolved functionalities.

Based on this new strategy, the goal in HAMMAM is to develop advanced monoliths with hierarchical porosity and functionality as continuous-flow reactors in catalysis, separation or remediation technologies. For those applications, monolithic reactors have demonstrated outstanding performances as compared to more conventional packed bed reactors. However, these monolithic reactors would still benefit from an improved control of their macro-sized porous features and from new cladding strategies. With resolutions down to the micrometer range and versatile microstructural control capabilities, the direct 3D printing of mesoporous materials from nano-sized building blocks offers a unique opportunity to address both of these limitations.

To reach its objectives, HAMMAM foresees three major developments:

(i) the extension of the PLIC ink strategy to a larger variety of materials and compositions. Based on the sol-gel synthesis of silica cages by soft-templating with surfactant micelles, other oxides such as aluminosilicate mesoporous nanostructures and their subsequent functionalization with catalytic sites (e.g. Ni, ReO) are primarily targeted.

(ii) the development of an innovative 3D printing setup for a localized control of the material microstructure. This technique will allow the fabrication of monoliths with integrated cladding structures, enabling their use at elevated temperatures in catalytic applications.

(iii) the implementation of hierarchical porosity (meso/macro) and functionalities (sequential reactive sites) into single monolithic reactors. The fabrication approach by 3D printing will provide a fine control on the monolith parameters, including its permeability and contact time of the fluid with the catalytic materials.

The potential of these hierarchical advanced mesoporous monoliths for flow-through applications will be demonstrated through the catalytic production of propylene from ethylene via cascade reactions. Given the continuous increase in the global demand for propylene, its effective production from alternative and more sustainable resources is of high relevance for the chemical industry.

The requested funding for this project includes the recruitment of a PhD student to execute the research tasks. HAMMAM is also the opportunity to federate the expertise and interests of a young team of researchers at ICGM, and to initiate a new research dynamic with this team.

Project coordination

Tangi Aubert (Institut de chimie moléculaire et des matériaux - Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ICGM Institut de chimie moléculaire et des matériaux - Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier

Help of the ANR 236,812 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 42 Months

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