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.