Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Innovative treatment of harmful gases

Catalysts can help convert dangerous gases into harmless gases through a series of chemical reactions. A Russian university has developed a new, inexpensive catalyst that provides excellent performance for a wide range of operating temperatures.
Innovative treatment of harmful gases
A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction by shortening the path from reactants to products. Catalysts can be homogeneous or heterogeneous. Homogeneous catalysts are in the same phase as the reactants, i.e. the gas phase for reactions occurring in the air, while heterogeneous catalysts are in a different phase than the reactants, often in the solid phase.

Also known as contact catalysts, heterogeneous catalysts provide a surface for the catalysed reaction to take place. Catalysts must often perform in high temperature environments, such as the exhaust of combustion engines, and must therefore resist melting. Metal-based catalysts can withstand high temperatures and can help convert exhaust pollutants into safe compounds such as water and oxygen.

A Russian university with a background in electrochemical technologies and analysis techniques has developed a new heterogeneous metal catalyst. The catalyst is substantially cheaper than its market competitors and remains stable in temperatures up to 8000ºC.

An important complementary development was the creation of two new processes, called AgPuls and Microwave SilverMix, for depositing the catalyst on nearly any solid carrier, allowing for a variety of applications. These processes are faster, do not require anodes and are highly consistent in terms of the depth of catalyst deposited, thereby avoiding wastage.

The university has a prototype available for demonstrations and is looking to secure a manufacturing agreement. Possible applications of these developments include treatment of pollutants in automobile exhaust (in the form of catalytic converters) and industrial manufacturing environments.

Related information

Record Number: 80710 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Environment