Magnetophoretic Sorting of Single Catalyst Particles

Miguel Solsona, Anne-Eva Nieuwelink, Florian Meirer, Leon Abelmann, Mathieu Odijk, Wouter Olthuis, Bert M. Weckhuysen (Corresponding Author), Albert van den Berg (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)
    223 Downloads (Pure)


    A better understanding of the deactivation processes taking place within solid catalysts is vital to design better ones. However, since inter‐particle heterogeneities are more a rule than an exception, particle sorting is crucial to analyse single catalyst particles in detail. Microfluidics offers new possibilities to sort catalysts at the single particle level. Herein, we report a first‐of‐its‐kind 3D printed magnetophoretic chip able to sort catalyst particles by their magnetic moment. Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) particles were separated based on their Fe content. Magnetophoretic sorting shows that large Fe aggregates exist within 20 % of the FCC particles with the highest Fe content. The availability of Brønsted acid sites decreases with increasing Fe content. This work paves the way towards a high‐throughput catalyst diagnostics platform to determine why specific catalyst particles perform better than others.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10589-10594
    Number of pages6
    JournalAngewandte Chemie (international edition)
    Issue number33
    Early online date1 Jul 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2018


    • UT-Hybrid-D
    • fluid catalytic cracking · heterogeneous catalysis · magnetic properties · magnetophoresis · microfluidics


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