Catalysis-in-a-Box: Robotic Screening of Catalytic Materials in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond

Gaurav Kumar, Hannah Bossert, Dan McDonald, Anargyros Chatzidimitriou, M. Alexander Ardagh, Yutong Pang, Choong Sze Lee, Michael Tsapatsis, Omar A. Abdelrahman, Paul J. Dauenhauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This work describes the design and implementation of an automated device for catalytic materials testing by direct modifications to a gas chromatograph (GC). The setup can be operated as a plug-flow isothermal reactor and enables the control of relevant parameters such as reaction temperature and reactant partial pressures directly from the GC. High-quality kinetic data (including reaction rates, product distributions, and activation barriers) can be obtained at almost one-tenth of the fabrication cost of analogous commercial setups. With these key benefits including automation, low cost, and limited experimental equipment instrumentation, this implementation is intended as a high-throughput catalyst screening reactor that can be readily utilized by materials synthesis researchers to assess the catalytic properties of their synthesized structures in vapor-phase chemistries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-823
Number of pages19
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge financial support of the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, a US Department of Energy – Energy Frontier Research Center under Grant DE-SC0001004 .


  • MAP4: Demonstrate
  • alcohol dehydration
  • automated analysis
  • automated kinetic measurements
  • high-throughput experimentation
  • micro-flow reactor
  • packed bed reactors
  • reactive gas chromatography


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