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					Site:                 Institut Francais du Petrole (IFP)
                      1 et 4 Ave de Bois-Preau
                      92852 Ruiel-Malmaison, Cedex

Date Visited:         September 27, 2007

WTEC Attendees:       Levi Thompson (Team Lead), Jeff Miller,
                      John Regalbuto (NSF), Mike De Haemer (WTEC)

Host:                 Dr. Herve Toulhoat
                      Deputy Scientific Director
                      Phone: (33) 1 47 52 73 50
                      Fax: (33) 1 47 52 70 22

                      Dr. Pascal Raybaud
                      Project Manager for Molecular Modeling
                      IFP Rueil

                      Dr. Karin Marchand
                      Catalysis and Separation Division
                      IFP Lyon
                      BP 3 69390 Vernaison
                      Phone: (33) 4 78 02 28 17
                      Fax: (33) 4 78 02 20 66

                      Dr. Nicholas Bats
                      Catalysis and Separation Division
                      IFP Lyon
                      Phone: (33) 4 78 02 27 48
                      Fax: (33) 4 78 02 20 66


IFP is an independent research organization founded in 1944 based in Ruiel-Malmaison
(near Paris) with a second site in Lyon. IFP offers a complete range of services from
upstream, refining, petrochemicals, fuels and automotive. There is approximately 600
staff working on downstream research with 200 in catalysis with a budget of
approximately 80 million euros for research with about half going to projects related to
catalysis. Approximately two-thirds of the funding comes from the French government
and one-third from licensing revenues. IFP has about 180 PhD students with 60 involved
with catalysis projects. IFP is the interface between academic groups and industry.
Technology, which is developed at IFP, is licensed to third parties through Axxens. Spin
off companies resulting from the research results are supported and encouraged by IFP.

As an international research and training center, IFP is developing the transport energies
of the 21st century. It provides innovative solutions for a smooth transition to the
energies and materials of tomorrow. To fulfill its mission, IFP has 5 complementary
strategic objectives:

Maximize oil and gas exploration and production (upstream sector)
Maximize conversion oil and gas into energy for transportation
Diversify fuel sources
Developing clean, fuel-efficient vehicles (auto sector)
Capturing and store CO2 to combat the greenhouse gases


Approximately 75% of research is applied and 25% basic research. A large amount of
research is devoted to traditional downstream refining and petrochemical processes with
strengths in residue conversion and distillate hydrotreating (i.e., HDS), hydrocracking of
lube oil base stocks, fluid catalytic cracking, aromatic chemical production,
environmental and biofuels. Basic research aims to understand the relationship between
structure and activity, and long-term the goal is to be able to model the optimum structure
of the catalyst for better performance.

Once of the core research areas is the synthesis and development of zeolite and molecular
sieve catalysts. In addition to the traditions synthesis methods, a fundamental approach is
being investigated for rational synthesis of new catalysts and adsorbants. Substitution of
Ge for Si leads to smaller Ge-O-Ge bonds favoring the D4R building blocks. This
recognition lead to the synthesis of new material IM-101-3, figure 1.



                      Figure 1. Structure of new Ge zeolite, IM-10
The KFI structure is known for AlPO’s but not for zeolites, figure 2. Molecular
modeling identified two potential templates required for this structure and subsequently
the successful synthesis was developed.4-5

            Figure 2. Molecular model of KFI molecular sieve structure type

Nano-structured sulfide catalysts are extensively used in refining hydrotreating (HDS)
operations for production of clean fuels and are expected to be important catalyst for
future biofuels, etc. While these catalysts have been investigated, further improvements
are necessary. Effective catalysts promote small MoS2 particles by Co. A number of
synthesis routes have been investigated leading to higher activity catalysts. Traditional
synthesis leads to formation of Al-molybdates. Using other mixed Co-Mo oxides leads to
smaller particles and better promoter interactions.6-9 Preparation of Mo-zeolite catalysts
with typical Mo compounds leads to external segregation of the Mo. Using cationic Mo-
sulfide complexes leads to deposition of the Mo in the zeolite pores.

Supported metal nano-particles are used in a number of industrial applications. IFP is
investigating the effect of particle morphology on the reactivity. Unsupported Pd nano-
particles have been prepared with different morphology, Figure 3. The selectivity of
butadiene hydrogenation increases as the fraction of (111) exposed planes increases.10-11

Figure 3. SEM micrographs of Pd nanoparticles. Right: mix of (110) and (100) exposed
            crystal planes; Left: cubic morphology with (100) crystal planes
IFP is one of the first groups using DFT modeling of alumina and titania to understand
the interaction between metal nanoparticles with the support surface. The support can
increase the dispersion, alter the structure of the active phase, modify the active sites, or
contribute acid-base function to the catalyst. Results of MoS2 on alumina and titania
suggest that the surface interaction leads to a different fraction of exposed S-edge/Mo-
edge planes leading to different activity.12 Pd clusters on alumina interact strongly with
Al sites in dehydrated alumina affecting the wetting, nucleation and diffusion. The
interaction of ethylene with depends on the interaction of the Pd with the support, altering
the mode of adsorption and leading to differences in the reactivity.13


IFP is a publicly funded technology development company with a wide portfolio
commercial technologies for the energy, petrochemical and auto industries. In addition,
there is a strong emphasis on fundamentals of science and catalysis. This is supported by
a prestigious scientific advisory board, large number of Ph.D. candidates and large
number of scientific papers published each year. This strong blend of science and
technology delivering new catalysts for today while looking to the future energy needs is
unique in the energy industry.

1. J.L. Paillaud, Y. Lorgouilloux, B. Harbuzaru, P. Caullet, J. Patarin, N. Bats, Stud. Surf.
Sci. Catal. 170, (2007) 389
2. US Pat. 6921524B2
3. Y. Mathieu, J. L. Paillaud, P. Caullet, N. Bats, Microporous Mesoporous Mater. 75,
(2004) 13-22
4. L. Schreyek et al., Chem. Commun. (1997), 1241
5. US Pat. 7056490B2
6. Appl. Catal. A 197 (2000) 79
7. Inorg. Chem. 43 (2004) 4636
8. Chem. Eur. J. 11 (2005) 4591
9. Chem. Mater. 17 (2005) 4438
10. G. Berhault, M. Bausach, L. Bisson, L. Becerra, C. Thomazeau, D. Uzio J. Phys.
Chem. C, 111(16), 2007, 5915-5925
11. L. Bisson, C. Boissière, C. Sanchez, C. Thomazeau, D. Uzio, Mater. Res. Soc. Symp.
Proc., Vol. 1017, DD16-26, 2007
12. D. Costa et al., J. Catal. 246, (2007) 325
13. M. Corral Valero et al., J. Catal. 247, (2007) 339