Pre-Conference School of the 17th International Zeolite Conference

July 5-6, 2013, Moscow, Russia


Prof.  Eduardo  Falabella Sousa-Aguiar

         Prof.  Eduardo  Falabella Sousa-Aguiar, Chemical Engineer, MSc, DSc, has 36 years  experience in the field of catalysis and catalytic processes. He has worked  in  the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro for 32 years, where he has  introduced the courses of “Catalysis” and “Oil Refining”. He is also a Senior Advisor in Petrobras Research Centre (CENPES), where he is currently the coordinator of GTL/BTL/CTL research projects. He was the manager of the XTL  cell,  a  group  devoted  to  the  development  of XTL technologies in Petrobras.
        He  has  been  involved  in many research projects and activities and spent  quite  some  time  as  member  of  the team that has transferred the technology  of  cracking  catalysts  from  AKZO Nobel to FCCSA. He has also worked  some  time  as  a  research  fellow  in the AKZO Research Centre in Amsterdam,  in the University of Brunel, UK, in the Technical University of
Vienna and in the Texas Ketjen Plant in Houston, USA.
        Prof.  Falabella  is  a  prolific  writer  and  has authored over 300 scientific  papers, both locally and internationally, two books and several patents.  He has also advised over 30 MSc and PhD theses. He has been the focal point in Brazil for the international program CYTED, subprogram “Environmental Catalysis”.  In 2011, as recognition of his contribution to the  Catalysis  Community,  he  was  invited  to  become  a  member  of the Scientific  Committee  of ICS-UNIDO. Also, in 2010, he was elected a member of the Council of the prestigious International Zeolite Association, being the first South American to occupy such position.

        He  has  been  awarded several times, deserving special attention the Plinio Cantanhede  Award, in 1994 (the best scientific contribution to the Brazilian oil and Petrochemistry Industry), the Governador do Estado Award, in 1998 (the best international patent) and the Golden Retort, in 2000, for his  contribution  to  Brazilian  Catalytic Community and Life Achievement. Moreover, he was given in 2005 the award “Catalysis and Society”, for the creation  of  the  Brazilian  Network on Chemical Transformation of Natural Gas.  In 2008, he was given the prestigious Brazilian National Technology Award for his developments in the field of dimethyl ether. In 2012, he was given  the  James  Oldshue  Award  of  the  Interamerican  Confederation of Chemical  Engineering  for  his  contribution  to  the  field  of  Chemical Engineering  in  South America. He is frequently invited as speaker in many congresses and seminars. He has  been plenary lecturer in international congresses in 21 countries.

This review concerns the main modifications carried out in Y zeolites, aiming at embedding them in FCC catalysts. Hence, the main features of zeolite calcination are discussed, as well as the incorporation of Rare Earth elements via ion exchange prior to such calcination. Indeed, REHY and RENaY zeolites are the most important components of FCC catalysts and have been extensively studied in the past years. Their properties were evaluated in different conditions and the discussions of their main characteristics were revisited. It was showed that RE elements migrate to smaller cages upon calcination and, once located in these cages, they form bridges with framework oxygen atoms, stabilising the zeolite structure. Some hydrolysis reactions take place over RE cations, generating Brönsted acidity and the higher the ionic radius of the RE atom, the higher the degree of hydrolysis. Besides, a correlation between the ionic radius of the RE atom, the Brönsted acidity of the zeolite and the rate of hydrogen transfer reaction were observed. Furthermore, the use of rare earth elements as a vanadium trap has also been analysed. Finally, new applications of rate earth containing zeolites in other fields than FCC catalysis indicate that this subject is still of great interest.