Maria Sosa is a student of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Agroindustry of Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Quito, Ecuador, and she has been working on her thesis to obtain the title of Chemical Engineer. She has a specialization in Polymers at the Escuela Politécnica Nacional and has been working with ceramic materials and oxidation systems in automobile exhaust pipes in order to reduce the emissions of carbon monoxide. She developed her thesis based on the use of Ecuadorian raw materials from low exploited sites for its application in oxidation processes with the use of copper and zirconium oxides.
The presentation will deal with the development of ceramic membranes coated with copper oxide and zirconium (CuO and ZrO2) oriented to the oxidation of carbon monoxide (CO) to carbon dioxide (CO2). The ceramic membranes were prepared through the replica technique by impregnation of polyurethane matrices with slurries prepared using mixtures on dry basis of Ecuadorian clay, feldspar and quartz based on a Simplex Centroide design. The ceramic membranes were subjected to a heat treatment with three different levels of final sintering temperature and the response variables studied were porosity and compressive strength. According to an statistical analysis it was determined that the formulation of slurry and temperature that maximized these properties, with values of 91.4 % of porosity and 0.1 MPa of resistance, were the composition of 66, 5 %; 20 % and 13.5 % of clay, feldspar and quartz respectively and the temperature of 1 135 ° C. With these conditions there where prepared ceramic membranes that were coated with suspensions of CuO a/o ZrO2 in different dry basis compositions according to a Simplex Latice design. The reduction capacity of the CuO a/o ZrO2 oxides as coatings of the ceramic membranes was evaluated through a H2-TPR and it was determined that loads of 6.3 % ZrO2 and 1.7 % Cu per gram of ceramic membrane to 6.1 % Cu without ZrO2 presented a reduction profile with a maximum temperature between 258 and 270 °C. Finally, a CO-TPR was performed on the coated membranes that presented a reduction profile and it was determined that a load of 6.1 % Cu obtained the highest CO2 production with a value of 16,02 cm3 CO2/g and a reduction temperature of 236 °C. It was determined that the oxidation of CO was influenced by the amount of CuO in the coating but the presence of ZrO2 influenced the temperature of oxidation also.