Screening of heterogenous catalysts

Heterogenous catalysts for energy conversion applications

Due to the daily and seasonal differences between the availability and consumption of regenerative energy, new energy storage scenarios are under intensive R&D. Methanol is a versatile platform chemical and as an energy carrier it plays an increasingly important role in energy transition scenarios. For the synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide and electrolytically produced hydrogen, two processes for catalyst synthesis were optimized at the BioCat branch of IGB. Various reactor systems are available for the subsequent screening of the catalysts regarding their performance.


Optimized synthesis of methanol from carbon dioxide and electrolytically produced hydrogen

The state-of-the-art coprecipitation of Cu-based catalyst precursors was tuned for continuous operation, enabling very significant energy, time and resource savings on the industrial scale synthesis (Patent pending). Another innovative method is based on dissolution of metal compounds in deep eutectic solvents, followed by carbonization (WO2016/180973A1).

Screening of heterogeneous catalysts in gas phase reactions

Two reactor systems are available for the screening of heterogeneous catalysts in gas phase reactions.

Multi-purpose screening system

A multi-purpose screening system with four parallel reactor tubes and on-line GC-MS analytics has been acquired. The gas dosing enables using technically relevant syngas mixtures with various CO/CO2/H2/H2O ratios. The system makes possible the high throughput screening over catalysts and reaction conditions. It also allows evaluating the long-term stability of the catalysts under the optimal operation conditions and to quantitatively collect and analyze the liquid products. The design makes it also possible to carry out various other reactions including methanization, Fischer Tropsch synthesis, and chemical conversion of methanol to olefins or liquid fuels as well as ammonia synthesis.


Single-tube system

A single-tube system for catalytic testing at atmospheric pressure was designed and built. Two operating sizes are available, with maximum 1 g and 50 g catalyst loading, respectively. The system enables the investigation of reaction cascades such as methanol synthesis coupled to the methanol-to-olefin process.