Seeking Low Temperature Catalytic Technologies for Oxidation of Methane to Carbon Dioxide

Background / Description

Methane is the main component of natural gas and a powerful contributor to climate change. Although it does not remain in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, it is in fact 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide when the atmospheric warming impact is considered over a 20-year period. The reduction of methane emissions is therefore a critical factor in the mitigation of global warming.

In order to reduce the emissions of methane from industrial sources, a chemical company is seeking robust catalytic technologies for the oxidative abatement of low concentrations of methane under varying conditions for a range of applications. Due to the high stability of the methane molecule, they believe that an innovative catalytic approach is required. Potential applications include methane abatement in engines, gas turbines, mining and extraction technologies.

In these applications, the thermal stability of the catalyst is important. However, the central challenge is to design catalytic materials that exhibit the highest activity at the lowest temperature while remaining resistant to poisons present in the exhaust gases.

Technical Specifications

The desired catalytic technologies should operate with:

  • Significant conversion (>80% at GHSV = 50kh-1)
  • Low concentrations of methane (1000–2000 ppm) at ~400°C with humidity (10-12%)
  • Presence of SOx (about 1-2 ppm) and NOx

Other specific reaction conditions are listed below:

  • Low operating temperatures, typically below 450°C, preferably between 350-400°C
  • Large amounts of water vapour (10–12%) and CO2 (15%)
  • Large excess of oxygen
  • Low humidity conditions (2-3%) with subsequently higher conversions (>90%)
  • Space velocities up to 100kh-1
  • Lifetime must be in the order of 1-2 years under load conditions

Preferred Business Model

  • R&D Collaboration
  • Licensing
  • IP Acquisition
  • Business Collaboration (Joint Venture, Distribution)

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