Development of new advanced processes for conversion of natural gas into useful products, e.g. ethylene and other hydrocarbons or formaldehyde/ methanol, with priority for hydrocarbons.
The project covers all aspects that should be considered in the development stage of a process:
1) Catalyst development
Based upon present knowledge new advanced catalysts will be synthesized and characterized in order to achieve a further improvement of yield. A major issue in this respect is the design of catalysts that show good activity and selectivity at temperatures significantly lower than the present ones. As to formaldehyde the decomposition of the desired reaction products should be avoided. These activities will be accompanied by the necessary mechanistic work to identify elementary reaction steps and intermediate species on the catalyst surface. A new powerful technique, TAP, will be applied. Special attention will be given to prepare a catalyst that combines good catalytic functions with adequate flow properties as desired in a fluidized bed.
2) Catalytic reaction engineering
Optimal reaction conditions for catalytic and non-catalytic reactions will be determined for selected catalyst systems that have shown sufficient potential for application in the process. The results of this work are a necessary basis for reactor design. The latter topic will be considered both experimentally and via computer simulations. A comparative kinetic study on the performance of catalysts, developed by different partners, will be carried out using a normalized standard procedure. Modelling of fluidized beds will be studied with emphasis on parameter estimation under reaction conditions, and verification in a cold model. Heat transfer aspects for fixed bed operation will be considered. Special attention will be given to reducible and non-reducible compounds as catalyst, and accordingly the different ways of reactor operation and feeding.
3) Catalytic process design
A proposal for the design of a pilot-scale plant will be made. Aspects that need further research (whether or not in such plant) will be summarized on the basis of the results. Flowsheeting and economics of the process will be taken into account.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts