Catalytic Materials for Chemical Hydrogen Storage (INW-2)
The Catalytic Materials for Chemical Hydrogen Storage subinstitute (INW-2) focuses on packing the catalytically active centres in a suitable catalyst pellet or catalytically active moulded body to allow the use of the corresponding materials in large-scale facilities, for example. The subinstitute investigates and optimizes the complex interactions between mass transport, heat transport, and catalytic reaction at catalyst pellet level. Chemical hydrogen storage processes are characterized by an extreme change in volume in the reactor as a function of conversion. Thus, issues relating to the efficient supply and removal of reactants and heat are crucial for the performance of the moulded catalyst used. The catalyst materials used must therefore be further developed not only in terms of their surface chemistry (stabilization of the catalyst nanoparticles, wetting of the liquid phase, avoidance of side reactions due to carrier acidity, etc.) but also with regard to their pore network to optimize the mass and heat transport properties. Exploring the noble metal and metal recycling of catalysts that have reached the end of their operating cycle is another research priority at INW-2. To recycle noble metals and metals, the metal loading of a “spent” catalyst must be redissolved and the active metal component must be fully recovered from the solution. These research activities aim to build on established noble metal recycling processes (e.g. exhaust gas catalytic converters in internal combustion engine vehicles) and to adapt and optimize them for reconditing hydrogenation and dehydrogenation catalysts.