Case Study: University of
New Hampshire

Micromeritics or Particulate Systems Instrument(s):

  • AutoChem II 2920

Personal Experience with Micromeritics:

"Micromeritics, A must for every stage in my research"

 

Micrometrics has been instrumental to my research since I began my graduate study at Tufts University in 2005. While my research had many twists, turns, and variables, one thing has always been a constant: Micromeritics. When I came to the United States from China, my Ph.D. supervisor introduced me to a 10-year old Pulse Chemisorption 2705. After ten years of heavy use, the Pulse Chemisorption 2705 had a reputation of being temperamental and was in great need of some TLC. The interface card of TCD data was discontinued, and a sample port inoperable due to pressured build up in two sample tubes. Since I was new to my research group, getting time on new instruments was difficult and competitive. Rather than fighting with my brothers and sisters to drive the shiny new car, I decided to refurbish the old Cadillac. The Pulse Chemisorption 2705 proved to be resilient and reliable. Having cleaned the gas lines, replaced the tubing and connectors, I was able to convert it into a microreactor. Refurbishment was cost efficient, because it allowed me to use the previous temperature controller. This machine was the primary reactor for my graduate research, which resulted in 5 first-author publications. I even used the reactor as a furnace when it wasn’t connected to the gas chromatography.

 

Later in my career, the Autochem II 2920 played a larger role in my research of gold catalysis. It was challenging to calculate gold dispersion on ceria by quantifying the amount of absorbed carbon monoxide at ambient temperature. With the aid of a vapor generator and cryocooler, I was able to exclude the contribution of carbon monoxide absorbed on ceria by saturating the surface with water vapor while carrying out the experiment under 0 degree C. This is a critical step to calculate the reaction rate of gold atoms. Autochem II 2920 provided this unique approach and enabled me to demonstrate clearly that the shape effect does not exist for gold supported on different ceria nanoshapes. It provided my papers with convincing evidence, therefore, the journal review process was seamless.

 

Now that I’ve started to build my own research lab at the University of New Hampshire, I decided to that Micrometrics is a must. The customer service has been tremendously helpful. I received an email response from John Elter within 24 hours, and he helped me identify additional benefits that the Autochem II 2920 could greatly contribute to my research needs. When I started the process of purchasing, I ran into an unexpected challenge that was related to my start-up budget. I almost had to give up the opportunity to purchase the AutoChem II 2920. John was very helpful. He helped me to build another configuration that has the basic features. His help was important, as it would allow me to own an AutoChem II 2920 with my limited start-up fund. The new configuration also gave me the capacity to add more accessories when I receive external funding in the future.

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