Jacob Moulijn

Catalysis Engineering on three levels

Industrial Catalysis covers a broad area. The basis discipline it is founded upon is Catalysis Engineering. In Delft we have coined that term. Catalysis Engineering aims at putting catalysis in practice.

Our ambition is to include all relevant length scales, viz., the micro-level, the mesa-level and the macro-level.


The micro-level focuses on molecules and active sites. Also development of novel materials containing active sites belongs to this level. Activities require expertise in applied chemistry and physics. We focus on in-situ spectroscopy. adsorption and kinetics. An infrastructure is been built that is world class.


The meso-level is the particle and reactor level. On this level the optimal interplay between chemistry , mass and heat transfer is the challenge. Also hydrodynamics plays a key role. Structured reactors, in particular monolithic reactors, are a real focal area of the group. In multi-phase applications our group probably is the leading group in the world as far as academia is concerned.


The high geometric surface area of monoliths (from left to right: 1890 m2/m3, 2740 m2/m3, 3440 m2/m3)


The macro-level is the level of the process. In the past we developed a process for the hydrodechlorination of freons. This was a complete process development project starting from catalyst selection up to process design. A recent example is the development of a process for the decomposition of N2O for the fertilizers industry.