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Understanding the Dynamic Nature of Catalysts for Methane Abatement Reactions

Project description

Developing enhanced methane abatement catalysts

Methane, the main component of natural gas, is a powerful greenhouse gas whose high-temperature combustion emits toxic nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. In order for the combustion engines of natural gas-fuelled vehicles to emit fewer greenhouse gases, more efficient catalysts need to be developed. The EU-funded DynaCatMe project therefore aims to develop highly active and steam-tolerant methane abatement catalysts. To this end, it will synthesise nanomaterials by using mechanochemistry, a cheap, environmentally friendly and readily scalable emission-control catalysis method. The project’s results are expected to advance methane-activation technologies for industrial application.


In the next decades, methane will be used extensively in the European Union owing to the increased supplies of shale gas. Methane is the main component of natural gas (>90%) and its combustion is more efficient and has less carbon footprint with respect to other carbon-containing fuels. However, it is a powerful greenhouse gas, with an effect 20 times higher than that of CO2 and its high-temperature combustion emits toxic NOx and CO. Decreasing the emissions of greenhouse gases from combustion engines requires the development of more efficient catalysts, which is critical for natural gas fueled vehicles (NGVs).
My main goal in DynaCatMe is to develop highly active and steam-tolerant methane abatement catalysts. Based on outstanding preliminary results of the host group, I will synthesize the nanomaterials by using an unexplored method in emission-control catalysis: Mechanochemistry, which is a cheap, eco-friendly and readily scalable method and where active sites with unconventional architectures are created. During this Fellowship, I plan to acquire a fundamental understanding of the structural and chemical properties of the novel catalysts to precisely identify the active sites responsible for the superior performance. In addition, I will investigate the dynamic nature of nanocatalysts by using cutting-edge synchrotron-based operando spectroscopies to monitor and decipher their actual working state under industrial reaction conditions. Importantly, the expected results will also have a strong impact on methane-activation technologies for industrial application. I will build on my previous expertise in advanced characterization and will be guided by an expert in catalysts synthesis, characterization and testing to bring this multidisciplinary project to fruition. During the implementation of the Fellowship, I will develop new technical and transferable skills via a specifically designed and documented training plan.


Net EU contribution
€ 172 932,48
08034 Barcelona

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 172 932,48