Areas of Research

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My areas of research can be summarized in the following points:
  1. Reaction Engineering emphasizing on:
  1. Catalysis emphasizing on:

Selected Journal Publications and Conferences:

  1. Malaibari Z, Croiset E, Epling W and Amin A; " Effect of Structural Interactions between Ni and Mo on Catalytic Properties of a Ni-Mo/Al2O3 Reforming Catalyst” in press.
  2. Malaibari Z, Croiset E, Epling W and Amin A; " Deactivation characteristics of Mo-Ni/Al2O3 catalysts in LPG OSR reforming" in press.
  3. Ashraf M. Amin, Eric Croiset*, Zuhair Malaibari, William Epling “Hydrogen production by methane cracking using Ni-supported catalysts in a fluidized bed”, International Journal of H2 Energy, 37 (2012) 1069-10701.

Selected Conferences:

  1. The Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2009 International Conference & Trade Show (HFC2009) held in Vancouver ,Canada from the 31st of May to the 3rd of June.
  2. The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Conference held in Washington DC, USA from the 13th to the 16th of February 2011.


Hydrogen production from light Hydrocarbons:
My PhD work was on Hydrogen Production from Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) by Oxidative Steam Reforming Over Bimetallic Catalysts

The study investigated the production of H2 from reforming of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). LPG is a mixture of gases, mainly propane and butane, produced from petroleum or natural gas. It is a liquid under moderate pressure and therefore a favourable feedstock for distributed hydrogen production since it is easy to store and transport with a distribution network already in place. With its wide range of propane and butane compositions world wide, in this study LPG was considered as a mixture of propane and butane. H2 production from LPG was investigated through oxidative steam reforming of propane and butane
Oxidative steam reforming (OSR) can be viewed as a combination of two reactions: partial oxidation (PO) and steam reforming (SR). By carefully controlling the steam to carbon (S/C) and oxygen to carbon (O2/C) ratios in the feed, OSR can produce higher H2 yields than PO at operational temperatures lower than SR.
In the first part of this study, based on the literature and preliminarily experiments, two Ni based bimetallic catalysts, Pt-Ni/Al2O3 and Mo-Ni/Al2O3, were selected to be compared to a monometallic Ni/Al2O3 catalyst. This catalysts screening study evaluated the performance of the catalysts on the basis of a statistical factorial experimental design. The factorial design was efficient in optimizing experimental runs, while testing the activity and product distribution of the catalysts at different operational limits. The catalyst screening study also included time on stream catalysts stability tests. These experiments illustrated the high potential for solving the Ni stability problem associated with LPG reforming as the unpromoted Ni catalyst suffered from deactivation by coking and could not sustain its high conversion
The second part of the study was concerned with the investigation of the effect of Mo addition on the activity, selectivity and stability of Ni catalysts when used for H2 production from LPG OSR. Individual fuels and reactions experiments showed that butane OSR gave the highest fuel conversions and H2 production rates
In the last part of this study, surface and bulk properties of the monometallic Ni catalyst was compared to the Mo-Ni bimetallic catalyst using different catalyst characterization techniques ( TPR, TPO, TGA, XRD, H2 and O2 chemisorption and DRIFTS).

Propylene production as feed for the petrochemical industry:
Light olefins such as ethylene and propylene constitute the backbone of the petrochemical industry. These olefins are the precursors of numerous plastic materials, synthetic fibers and rubbers. The growth in propylene market, which is driven by the escalating demand for the production of polypropylene, has been higher than that for ethylene. However, the current conventional light olefins technologies (i.e. steam cracking and fluid catalytic cracking) cannot respond adequately to such a rapid increase, since propylene is only produced as a by-product in these processes. In 2010, the global capacity of propylene was estimated at 94 million tons/yr (t/y) and its annual demand growth up to 2015 is about 4.5%. Therefore, the so-called-on-purpose propylene production technologies such as propane dehydrogenation, metathesis of ethylene and butenes, high severity FCC, olefins cracking and methanol to olefins (MTO) conversion are gathering increasing attention.
Two research projects are proposed and under revision in association with the center of refining and petrochemical at the research institute in KFUPM.