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Catalytic microreactors for launched systems


Miniaturization of catalytic processes is a major challenge for and individual and treatments in the fields of transportation, of energy management, of medical care, or of house equipment. A hard point to overcome in these applications is the fabrication of microreactors with maximum ratio of catalytic efficiency over the reactor volume. The project aims in fabricating such catalytic microreactors composed of a metallic preform containing microchannels with a diameter in the order of 50 microns, whose surface will be entirely and efficiently coated by a complex catalytic film. This complex coating will be composed of metallic catalytic nanoparticles such as platinum ones, dispersed on a high specific area ceramic film such as gamma alumina. It will be fabricated by a two sequential steps chemical vapour deposition/infiltration (CVD/CVI) process. CVD is well adapted for eficient infiltration in porous media and for the deposition of coatings with particular microstructure. Metalorganic precursors will be used in appropriate operating conditions to allow for a process with low thermal budget, compatible with the geometric and physical characteristics of the material of the perform (eg. aluminium).The micrireactors will be tested on a test bench follow ing two model reactions of high industrial interest:
(i) oxidation of carbon monoxide,
(ii) total oxidation of propane.
The porous metallic pre-form is commercialized by a French SME which is actually in contact with international industries for the fabrication of massive and supported catalytic systems. The project is expected to allow this SME to become, in fine, one among the world leaders on innovative technological solutions in the domain of catalysis with, consequently an important increase in terms of activity and employment.

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