rexresearch.com


Heather WILLAUER, et al.

Seawater Fuel




See also : KANZIUS / Seawater Fuel ... ANDREWS / Seawater Fuel Catalyst ... ANDERSON / Hyfuel Catalyst ... FRANCH / Water to Gasoline






http://news.yahoo.com/us-navy-game-changer-converting-seawater-fuel-150544958.html
April 7, 2014

US Navy 'game-changer': converting seawater into fuel

by

Mathieu Rabechault

SEAWATER-FUELED BATTLESHIPS

Washington (AFP) - The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as "a game-changer" because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack.

The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.

All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.

The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.

Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: "It's a huge milestone for us."

"We are in very challenging times where we really do have to think in pretty innovative ways to look at how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume it.

"We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel," added Cullom.

"Basically, we've treated energy like air, something that's always there and that we don't worry about too much. But the reality is that we do have to worry about it."

US experts have found out how to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater.

Then, using a catalytic converter, they transformed them into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. They hope the fuel will not only be able to power ships, but also planes.

That means instead of relying on tankers, ships will be able to produce fuel at sea.

- 'Game-changing' technology -

The predicted cost of jet fuel using the technology is in the range of three to six dollars per gallon, say experts at the US Naval Research Laboratory, who have already flown a model airplane with fuel produced from seawater.

Dr. Heather Willauer


Dr Heather Willauer, an research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, can hardly hide her enthusiasm.

"For the first time we've been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously, that's a big breakthrough," she said, adding that the fuel "doesn't look or smell very different."

Now that they have demonstrated it can work, the next step is to produce it in industrial quantities. But before that, in partnership with several universities, the experts want to improve the amount of CO2 and hydrogen they can capture.

"We've demonstrated the feasibility, we want to improve the process efficiency," explained Willauer.

Collum is just as excited.

"For us in the military, in the Navy, we have some pretty unusual and different kinds of challenges," he said.

"We don't necessarily go to a gas station to get our fuel, our gas station comes to us in terms of an oiler, a replenishment ship.

"Developing a game-changing technology like this, seawater to fuel, really is something that reinvents a lot of the way we can do business when you think about logistics, readiness."

A crucial benefit, says Collum, is that the fuel can be used in the same engines already fitted in ships and aircraft.

"If you don't want to re-engineer every ship, every type of engine, every aircraft, that's why we need what we call drop-in replacement fuels that look, smell and essentially are the same as any kind of petroleum-based fuels."

Drawbacks? Only one, it seems: researchers warn it will be at least a decade before US ships are able to produce their own fuel on board.



Comment from article:

The latest "German" Submarines before the end of the war were using seawater and peroxide as fuel, and were as efficient as if not more than nuclear according to Vladamir Terzisky, the Bulgarian born Engineer. Check out his youtube videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYk0JY23fuc

Walter Turbine
[ Hydrogen Peroxide / Seawater ]



PATENTS

EXTRACTION OF CARBON DIOXIDE AND HYDROGEN FROM SEAWATER AND HYDROCARBON PRODUCTION THEREFROM
US2013206605

[ http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20130815&CC=US&NR=2013206605A1&KC=A1 ]

Also published as:  US2011281959 // WO2011142854 // EP2569270
 
Apparatus for seawater acidification including an ion exchange, cathode and anode electrode compartments and cation-permeable membranes that separate the electrode compartments from the ion exchange compartment. Means is provided for feeding seawater through the ion exchange compartment and for feeding a dissociable liquid media through the anode and cathode electrode compartments. A cathode is located in the cathode electrode compartment and an anode is located in the anode electrode compartment and a means for application of current to the cathode and anode is provided. A method for the acidification of seawater by subjecting the seawater to an ion exchange reaction to exchange H+ ions for Na+ ions. Carbon dioxide may be extracted from the acidified seawater. Optionally, the ion exchange reaction can be conducted under conditions which produce hydrogen as well as carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide and hydrogen may be used to produce hydrocarbons.








RECOVERY OF [CO2]T FROM SEAWATER/AQUEOUS BICARBONATE SYSTEMS USING A MULTI-LAYER GAS PERMEABLE MEMBRANE
US8313557
 
[ http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20100204&CC=US&NR=2010028242A1&KC=A1 ]
[ http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20130221&CC=WO&NR=2013026068A1&KC=A1 ]

The present invention is generally directed to a system for recovering CO2 from seawater or aqueous bicarbonate solutions using a gas permeable membrane with multiple layers. At elevated pressures, gaseous CO2 and bound CO2 in the ionic form of bicarbonate and carbonate diffuse from the seawater or bicarbonate solution through the multiple layers of the membrane. Also disclosed is the related method of recovering CO2 from seawater or aqueous bicarbonate solutions.





METHOD FOR THE CONTINUOUS RECOVERY OF CARBON DIOXIDE FORM ACIDIFIED SEAWATER
WO2013026068
US8663365

[ http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20130221&CC=WO&NR=2013026068A1&KC=A1 ]

A method for recovering carbon dioxide from acidified seawater using a membrane contactor and passing seawater with a pH less than or equal to 6 over the outside of a hollow fiber membrane tube while applying vacuum or a hydrogen sweep gas to the inside of the hollow fiber membrane tube, wherein up to 92% of the re-equilibrated [C02]T is removed from the natural seawater.






CATALYTIC SUPPORT FOR USE IN CARBON DIOXIDE HYDROGENATION REACTIONS
US8658554
WO2011056715

[ http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20110512&CC=WO&NR=2011056715A1&KC=A1 ]

A catalyst support which may be used to support various catalysts for use in reactions for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide including a catalyst support material and an active material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) reaction associated with the catalyst support material. A catalyst for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide may be supported on the catalyst support. A method for making a catalyst for use in hydrogenation of carbon dioxide including application of an active material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) reaction to a catalyst support material, the coated catalyst support material is optionally calcined, and a catalyst for the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide is deposited on the coated catalyst support material. A process for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide and for making syngas comprising a hydrocarbon, esp. methane, reforming step and a RWGS step which employs the catalyst composition of the present invention and products thereof.

1. Technical Field

[0001] The present invention relates to the field of catalysts for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. In particular, the present invention relates to supported catalysts for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide wherein the catalyst support is coated with a material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift reaction.

[0002] 2. Background Art

[0003] Increasing awareness of the environmental impact of carbon dioxide (C02) emissions has lead to an immense increase in research and development efforts to bind C02. Proposals range from capturing C02 directly from the flue gas emitted by heavy industry or from the atmosphere by binding it in inorganic oxides. Avalos- Rendon, et al., Journal of Physical Chemistry A 113, 6919 (2009) and Nikulshina, V., et al., Chemical Engineering Journal 146 (2), 244 (2009). One approach is to reduce the C02 over catalysts, to convert it to more valuable hydrocarbons using photochemical, electrochemical or thermochemical processes.

[0004] Electrochemical and photochemical C02 conversion is still in its infancy and at present has major drawbacks. Photocatalysts tend to require a sacrificial electron donor. Collin, J. P. and Sauvage, J. P., Coordination Chemistry Reviews 93 (2), 245 (1989) and Fujita, E., Hayashi, Y., Kita, S., and Brunschwig, B. S., Carbon Dioxide Utilization for Global Sustainability 153, 271 (2004). Further, neither photocatalytic nor electrocatalytic conversion of C02 yield long chain hydrocarbons nor do they show very high C02 conversion efficiencies. Noda, H. et al., Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan 63 (9), 2459 (1990).

[0005] Thermochemical C02 conversion, in contrast, has been known for several decades and is presently the most proven and successful approach to producing hydrocarbons (HC) above methane at high conversion yields. Russell, W. W. and Miller, G. H., Journal of the American Chemical Society 72 (6), 2446 (1950) and Dorner, R. W., Hardy, D. R., Williams, F. W., and Willauer, H. D., Applied Catalysis A: General (2009). This research is primarily driven by the U.S. military's significant demand for jet fuel and the associated target of increasing energy independence and battlefield readiness as well as reducing C02 emissions, in light of the impending introduction of the cap-and-trade system. One can envisage a process leading to jet fuel, where the needed carbon source is obtained by harvesting C02 dissolved in the ocean (primarily in the form of bicarbonate) and hydrogen through the electrolysis of water. Willauer, H.D., et al., Energy & Fuel 23, 1770 (2009) and Willauer, H.D., et al., "Effects of Pressure on the Recovery of C02 by phase Transition from a Seawater System by Means of Multilayer Gas Permeable Membranes", J Phys Chem A, in press (2009). C02 and H2 can subsequently be reacted over a heterogeneous catalyst to form hydrocarbons of desired chain length and type.

[0006] A key problem with this scenario is the low conversion yield of C02 hydrogenation processes. Thus, a significant increase in the conversion yield of C02 hydrogenation catalysts will enhance the feasibility of the above-mentioned process.

[0007] The target of achieving a high yield, high selectivity process for C02 hydrogenation to jet fuel can be achieved by use of a two step synthesis process, involving initial C02/H2 conversion to olefins and subsequent oligomerization over a solid acid catalyst to jet fuel. Even when using syngas (CO/H2), direct synthesis of jet fuel is limited by Anderson-Schulz-Flory (ASF) kinetics to a selectivity of around 50%. However, this type of selectivity can only be achieved when employing a catalyst that exhibits an extremely high chain growth probability of 0.9, which in C02 hydrogenation has not been observed before. Van der Laan, G. P. and Beenackers, A., Catalysis Reviews-Science and Engineering 41 (3-4), 255 (1999). Consequently, a two-step process is advantageous in comparison to the direct route to jet-fuel.

[0008] A conversion of 41.4% of C02/H2 over a K/Mn/Fe catalyst supported on alumina and an olefin/paraffin ratio of 4.2 has been reported. Dorner, R. W., Hardy, D. R., Williams, F. W., and Willauer, H. D., Applied Catalysis A: General (2009). Initial tests on a cobalt-based catalyst yielded predominantly methane (CH4), with no carbon monoxide (CO) detected in the product effluent. Dorner, R. W. et al., Energy Fuels 23 (8), 4190 (2009).

[0009] The conversion of C02 to long chain hydrocarbons has been established to go through a 2-stage reaction mechanism over iron catalysts, with initial conversion of C02 to CO on the iron's magnetite phase (Lox, E. S. and Froment, G. F., Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 32 (1), 71 (1993)), followed by chain growth as observed in Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis on iron carbide surface species. Riedel, T., et al., Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 40 (5), 1355 (2001); Bukur, D. B., et al., Journal of Catalysis 155 (2), 366 (1995); Herranz, T. et al., Applied Catalysis a-General 311, 66 (2006); and Li, S. Z. et al., Journal of Catalysis 206 (2), 202 (2002).

[00010] In cobalt-systems however, the predominant reaction seems to be C02 conversion directly to methane due to cobalt's limited water-gas shift (WGS) activity. Based on this model, the approach within entails the development of a bifunctional catalyst that includes both reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) activity as well as FT chain growth activity on the catalyst's surface. The addition of a second, separate reverse water gas shift (RWGS) catalyst to a cobalt Fischer-Tropsch catalyst within the same reactor would not suffice in achieving C02 conversion to long chain HC, as due to thermodynamic restrictions the carbon monoxide's partial pressure within the reactor would remain too low and insufficient to establish an FT regime. Riedel, T. et al., Applied Catalysis A-General 186 (1-2), 201 (1999).

[00011] It is known, that the RWGS reaction can take place over promoted ceria at modest temperatures, with an equilibrium constant of 16% reported over a Pd/Ce02 catalyst at 300 [deg.]C and an equimolar C02: H2 feed. Pettigrew, D. J., Trimm, D. L., and Cant, N. W., Catalysis Letters 28 (2-4), 313 (1994). However, if one replaced palladium with iron, a lower equilibrium constant can be expected, as iron catalyses the RWGS to a lesser extent than palladium does. Hilaire, S. et al., Applied Catalysis A-General 258 (2), 269 (2004).The RWGS takes advantage of ceria' s oxygen storage ability, involving the redox process over the Ce<4+>/Ce<3+> couple. It has been proposed that the reaction proceeds via reduction of Ce02 by hydrogen to Ce203, producing water in the process. Subsequently C02 can then be expected to re-oxidize Ce203, restoring the initial Ce02 species and yielding CO. Pettigrew, D. J., Trimm, D. L., and Cant, N. W., Catalysis Letters 28 (2-4), 313 (1994). Rates are however partially limited by H20 re-oxidizing Ce203. Hilaire, S. et al., Applied Catalysis A-General 258 (2), 269 (2004). The addition of base metals to ceria is known to be beneficial for the RWGS, by reducing the activation energy and increasing the reducibility of ceria. Li, K., Fu, Q., and Flytzani-Slephanopoulos, M., Applied Catalysis B -Environmental 27 (3), 179 (2000).

[00012] In WO 96/06064 Al a process for methanol production is described, which comprises a step of converting part of the carbon dioxide contained in a feed mixture with hydrogen to carbon monoxide, in the presence of a catalyst that can be used for the WGS reaction; exemplified by Zn- Cr/alumina and Mo03/alumina.

[00013] WO 2005/026093 Al discloses a process for producing DME, which comprises a step of reacting carbon dioxide with hydrogen in a RWGS reactor to provide carbon monoxide, in the presence of a supported catalyst selected from ZnO; MnOx (x=l~2); an alkaline earth metal oxide and NiO. [00014] EP 1445232 A2 discloses a (reverse) water gas shift reaction for production of carbon monoxide by hydrogenation of carbon dioxide at high temperatures, in the presence of a Mn- Zr oxide catalyst.

[00015] A drawback of the known process as disclosed in US 2003/0113244 Al is the selectivity of the catalyst employed; that is no long chain hydrocarbons are formed. Energy intense conversion of C02 to CO has to occur prior to upgrading, in a separate reactor. [00016] The object of the present invention is therefore to provide a catalyst that shows improved selectivity and yield in reducing carbon dioxide with hydrogen, with only very little methane formation, and with good catalyst stability.

Disclosure of Invention

[00017] In a first aspect, the present invention relates to a catalyst support which may be used to support various catalysts for use in reactions for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. The catalyst support of the invention comprises a catalyst support material and an active material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) reaction. [00018] In a second aspect, the present invention relates to a catalyst for use in hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. The catalyst of the invention comprises a catalyst for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide supported on a catalyst support which comprises catalyst support material and an active material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) reaction associated with the catalyst support.

[00019] In a third aspect, the present invention relates to a method for making a catalyst for use in hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. In the method, an active material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) reaction is applied to a catalyst support material, then, the combination of the catalyst support and active material is optionally calcined, and a catalyst for the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide is deposited on the coated catalyst support material.

[00020] The invention also relates to a process for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide, as well as an integrated process for making syngas comprising a hydrocarbon, esp. methane, reforming step and a RWGS step which employs the catalyst composition of the present invention.

[00021] The invention further relates to the use of the syngas mixture obtained with the process according to the invention as feed material for a process of making a chemical product; such as, for example, methanol production, olefin and alkane synthesis (e.g. via Fischer-Tropsch reaction), aromatics production, oxosynthesis, carbonylation of methanol or carbonylation of olefins.

[00022] The invention further relates to a process for making a chemical product using a syngas mixture as an intermediate or as feed material, which process comprises a step wherein carbon dioxide is hydrogenated in the presence of a catalyst according to the invention. Examples of such a process include methanol production, olefin and alkane synthesis, aromatics production, oxosynthesis, carbonylation of methanol or carbonylation of olefins.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[00023] FIG. 1 shows the reactor setup employed in the Examples for carrying out the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide.

[00024] Figure 2 is an SEM image of a ceria-coated gamma-alumina support calcined at 800 [deg.]C, with the large ceria-particles referred to as

, and the alumina support as

The ceria particles have particle sizes ranging from 500-800 nm.

[00025] Figure 3 is an SEM image of the ceria-coated gamma-alumina support calcined at 500 [deg.]C, with the ceria-particles referred to as " *", and the alumina support as

The ceria particles have particle sizes ranging from 200-400 nm.

[00026] Figure 4 is an x-ray diffraction pattern of a ceria-coated gamma-alumina support for FeMnKCeAl calcined at 800 [deg.]C, with both phases indexed for peak assignment. The sharp and distinct diffraction peaks, associated with the ceria fluorite phase are a clear indication of the material's bulk formation. There is only a small intensity difference between FeMnKCeAl calcined at 500 [deg.]C and FeMnKCeAl calcined at 800 [deg.]C, with the former showing slightly less sharp peaks.

[00027] Figure 5 shows XPS data, showing wt % of catalysts' elements. Both FeMnKCeAl calcined at 500 [deg.]C and FeMnKCeAl calcined at 800 [deg.]C show similar weight distributions, with FeMnKCeAl calcined at 500 [deg.]C having lower Ce-surface species. The concentration of surface species is in good agreement with the results reported over the K/Mn Fe-A1202 catalyst, showing the comparability of the results.

[00028] Figure 6 shows schematics of the temperature effect on ceria particle size and the correlated changes in C02 conversion. With calcination at 500 [deg.]C smaller, more defective particles are formed leading to the Fe/Mn/K clusters covering larger areas of the ceria particles. The larger particles formed under calcination at 800 [deg.]C are covered to a lesser degree by the Fe Mn/K particles, leading to a higher C02 conversion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

[00029] For illustrative purposes, the principles of the present invention are described by referencing various exemplary embodiments. Although certain embodiments of the invention are specifically described herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that the same principles are equally applicable to, and can be employed in other systems and methods. Before explaining the disclosed embodiments of the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of any particular embodiment shown. Additionally, the terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. Furthermore, although certain methods are described with reference to steps that are presented herein in a certain order, in many instances, these steps may be performed in any order as may be appreciated by one skilled in the art; the novel method is therefore not limited to the particular arrangement of steps disclosed herein.

[00030] It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Furthermore, the terms "a" (or "an"), "one or more" and "at least one" can be used interchangeably herein. The terms "comprising", "including", "having" and "constructed from" can also be used interchangeably.

[00031] With the catalyst and process according to the present invention, carbon dioxide can be hydrogenated into carbon monoxide with high selectivity, the catalyst showing good stability over time and under variations in processing conditions. Also, formation of methane is suppressed; typically, only small amounts of methane are found in the product mixture formed by the process according to the invention.

[00032] Fischer-Tropsch based reactions are the reactions that produce hydrocarbons and water from a carbon source, such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and hydrogen:

CO+2H2-> -(CH)2- + H20
C02+3H2->-(CH)2- + 2H20

[00033] In a first aspect, the present invention relates to a catalyst support, which may be used to support various materials or catalysts for use in reactions for converting carbon dioxide and hydrogen to hydrocarbons. The catalyst support of the invention comprises a catalyst support material and another material associated with the catalyst support material such as a coating, deposit, impregnation or a material applied by any other suitable mode of application of a of a material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) reaction.

[00034] The catalyst used in the process according to the invention includes an inert carrier or catalyst support material, of certain particle size and geometry. Suitable supports include those materials having good stability at the reaction conditions to be applied in the process of the invention, and are known by a person skilled in the art of catalysis. Preferably, the support material is at least one member selected from the group consisting of alumina, magnesia, silica, titania, zirconia, sulfated Zr02, W03Zr02, zeolites such as, for example, H-Beta zeolites, silicas such as Sylopol(R), A1F3, fluorided A1203, bentonite, and Si02/Al203, as well as carbon-based supports, molecular sieves such as mesoporous molecular sieves containing amorphous silica, e.g. MCM- 41 and MCM-48, and combinations thereof. Gamma-alumina is a preferred catalyst support material.

[00035] C02 conversion levels reported on catalysts dispersed over supports made only from these materials have been low since these supports only act as a stabilizer for the dispersed catalyst. Lanthanide oxides or (oxy)carbonate, e.g. La203 may also be used as support, but also contributes to catalyst activity.

[00036] The active material associated with the catalyst support material is a material which is capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift reaction (RWGS) reaction. Suitable materials include, but are not limited to, one or more oxides or carbides of transition metals or lanthanides. Ceria is the preferred active material for use in the catalyst support of the present invention. [00037] Associating the catalyst support with an active material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift reaction (RWGS) reaction provides both a support and an introduced catalytic activity of the material associated wtih the support, in the form of reverse water-gas shift catalytic activity. It is known that to achieve C02 hydrogenation to long-chain hydrocarbons, C02 needs to initially be converted to CO, which is subsequently converted to aforementioned hydrocarbons via the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The addition of a material which catalyzes a reverse water-gas shift reaction (RWGS) reaction facilitates the reverse water-gas shift reaction (i.e. C02 + H2 <-> CO + H20) and thus leads to an overall higher C02 conversion relative to a conventional support containing the same dispersed C02 hydrogenation catalyst.

[00038] Any suitable method may be employed to associate the active material with the catalyst support material. Suitable methods include, but are not limited to, an incipient wetness impregnation method, atomic layer deposition, sol-gel, salt reduction, precipitation, chemical vapor deposition and dispersion. As a result, the association between the active material and the catalyst support material may be as a coating, it may be impregnated, a deposition layer, the active material may be bound or attached to the catalyst support material or the active material be in any other physical form capable of being produced by the foregoing methods.

[00039] Calcining the catalyst support and active material at elevated temperatures (i.e. 800 [deg.]C) may lead to the formation of larger crystallites of the active material, which may be advantageous relative to smaller crystallites, as the smaller crystallites appear to be covered to a larger degree by the active carbon dioxide hydrogenation catalyst which is subsequently deposited on the catalyst support of the invention. Calcining of the combined active material and catalyst support of the present invention at lower temperatures (i.e. 500 [deg.]C) led to an improvement over an uncoated alumina support in hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. Calcining can be carried out at any suitable temperature in the range of 150 to 1300 [deg.]C, preferably in the range of 450 to 900 [deg.]C and most preferably in the range of 500 to 850 [deg.]C. Calcining is typically carried out over a period of 10 to 300 minutes, but the duration of calcination can be longer.

[00040] Another metal can be added to the active material to increase the support's reverse water-gas-shift reaction, such as a transition metal and/or a lanthanide. [00041] The amount of support material present in the catalyst used in the process according to the present invention may vary within broad ranges; a suitable range is from 40 to 95 mass% (based on total mass of catalyst composition). Preferably, the support forms from 50 to 90 mass%, more preferably from 60 to 85 mass% of total catalyst composition. In case of lanthanide oxides, the lanthanide content may vary from 0.1 to 95 mass %.

[00042] The content of the active material may vary within broad ranges. A certain minimum active material content is needed to reach a desired level of catalyst activity. A suitable range of active material is from 1 to 95 mass% (elemental metal based on total mass of catalyst composition). Preferably, the elemental metal content is from 5 to 50 mass%, a more preferred range is from 10 to 20 mass%.

[00043] Forming a stable combination of active material and catalyst support prior to depositing the C02 hydrogenation catalyst provides a significantly enhanced C02 conversion in subsequent conversion reactions conducted over a supported catalyst fabricated in this manner. Ceria is a preferred active material for the support since it enhances formation of CO as an intermediate in the conversion of C02 to hydrocarbons. Comparatively, the addition of ceria directly to the C02 hydrogenation catalyst, rather than as, for example, a coating on the catalyst substrate, actually diminishes the C02 conversion levels of the catalyst material by forming a surface layer over the catalyst. Thus, the ceria needs to be part of the support in order to provide the effect demonstrated by the present invention.

[00044] The present invention also relates to a method for making a catalyst support for use in hydrogenation of carbon dioxide. In the method, an active material capable of catalyzing a reverse water-gas shift (RWGS) reaction is associated with a catalyst support material, the combination of active material and catalyst support material is optionally calcined, and a catalyst for the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide is deposited on the calcined active material and catalyst support material. The method may be carried out as discussed above, e.g. by application of a coating to a catalyst support material and optionally calcining the coated catalyst support material. A suitable catalyst component may subsequently be deposited on the catalyst support to form a catalyst for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide.

[00045] The catalyst component that is used in the process of the invention may be prepared by any conventional catalyst synthesis method as known in the art. Generally such process includes the steps of making aqueous solutions of the desired metal components, for example from their nitrate or other soluble salt;
impregnating the solutions onto a support material; forming a solid catalyst precursor by precipitation (or impregnation) followed by removing water and drying; and then calcining the precursor composition by a thermal treatment in the presence of oxygen. [00046] The process of the invention shows good catalyst stability, also at temperatures of above about 600 [deg.]C; meaning that the composition of the product mixture varies little over time. The reaction can be performed over a wide pressure range, from atmospheric conditions up to e.g. 6 MPa.

[00047] Within the context of the present application, a catalyst that substantially consists of metal oxide, carbide or hydroxide and other specific elements is understood to mean that the specified metals in elemental form, or in the form of their oxides, carbides or hydroxides form the active sites of the catalyst composition. The catalyst may further comprise other components, including a support, a binder material, or other components including usual impurities, as known to the skilled person.

[00048] In the process according to the invention, any suitable catalyst for hydrogenation of carbon dioxide may be employed. The catalyst is immobilized on the coated support of the present invention. In one embodiment, the catalyst contains one or more metals in elemental form, or in the form of their oxides, carbides or hydroxides, wherein the metals are selected from the group consisting of Fe, K, Mn, Pd, Co, Cr, Ni, La, Ce, W, Pt, Cu, Na, Cs and various mixtures thereof. One suitable catalyst is a mixture of iron, manganese and potassium.

[00049] The metal content of the catalyst material may vary within broad ranges. A certain minimum metal content is needed to reach a desired level of catalyst activity, but a high content will increase the chance of particle (active site) agglomeration, and reduce efficiency of the catalyst. A suitable range is from 1 to 50 mass% (elemental metal based on total mass of catalyst composition). Preferably, the elemental metal content is from 5 to 30 mass%, a more preferred range is from 10 to 20 mass%.

[00050] The amount of each metal component present in the catalyst used in the process according to the present invention may vary within broad limits; a suitable range is from 0.1 to 50 mass % (metal content based on total mass of catalyst composition). Preferably, said metal content is from 0.2 to 30 mass %, more preferably the range is from 0.3 to 20 mass %.

[00051] Preferably, the catalyst used in the process according to the invention further comprises at least one alkali or alkaline earth metal, because this further increases surface basicity, and thus improves the catalyst's yield and selectivity. More preferably, said alkali or alkaline earth metal is selected from the group consisting of Li, Na, K, Cs and Sr. The advantage of such catalysts is that side-reactions in the process of the invention are effectively suppressed, especially the methanation reaction. If the catalyst comprises a support material, an additional advantage of these metals being present is that the catalyst is more robust, i.e. has better mechanical stability. [00052] The amount of each alkali or alkaline earth metal component present in the catalyst used in the process according to the present invention may vary within broad ranges; a suitable range is from 0.1 to 50 mass% (metal content based on total mass of catalyst composition). Preferably, said metal content is from 0.2 to 30 mass%, more preferably the range is from 0.3 to 20 mass%.

[00053] The catalyst may be applied in the process of the invention in various geometric forms, for example as spherical pellets.

[00054] In the process according to the invention the step of contacting the gaseous feed mixture containing carbon dioxide and hydrogen with a catalyst can be performed over a wide temperature range. As the reaction is endothermic, a high temperature will promote conversion, but too high temperature may also induce unwanted reactions; therefore this step is preferably performed at a temperature ranging from 100 to 500[deg.]C, more preferably from 200 to 450[deg.]C, even more preferred from 250 to 350[deg.]C.

[00055] The step of contacting the gaseous feed mixture containing carbon dioxide and hydrogen with a catalyst according to the process of the invention can be performed over a wide pressure range. A higher pressure tends to enable lower reaction temperatures, but very high pressures are not practical; therefore this step is preferably performed at a pressure ranging from 0.1 to 6 MPa, more preferably from 0.5 to 5 MPa, or from 1 to 3.5 MPa.

[00056] The contact time in the step of contacting the gaseous feed mixture containing carbon dioxide and hydrogen with a catalyst according to the process of the invention may vary widely, but is preferable from 0.5 to 6 seconds, more preferably from 1.5 to 5 seconds, or from 2 to 4 seconds.

[00057] The process according to the invention can be performed in conventional reactors and apparatuses; which are, for example, also used in methane reforming reactions. The skilled man will be able to select a suitable reactor set-up depending on specific conditions and circumstances. Suitable types of reactors include continuous fixed bed reactors or a continuous stirred tank reactor, but are not limited to such reactors. In view of the high reaction temperature, and catalytic activity of some metals like Ni in methanation reactions, use of a material comprising Ni or other active metals for making reactors walls etc. is preferable avoided. For this reason it is preferred to apply e.g. glass linings for relevant reactor parts. [00058] In the process according to the present invention, carbon dioxide is selectively converted into carbon monoxide by a reverse water gas shift reaction in the presence of a specific catalyst. The resulting product of this C02 hydrogenation process is a gas mixture containing carbon monoxide and water, and non- converted carbon dioxide and hydrogen. This can, in case of excess hydrogen, also be represented by the following equation:

[00059] The water formed in this reaction is generally removed from the product stream, because this will drive the equilibrium reaction in the desired direction, and because water may interfere with subsequent reactions of the syngas. Water can be removed from the product stream using any suitable method known in the art, e.g. by condensation and liquid/gas separation.

[00060] The amount of hydro gen in the feed gas, that is the value for n in the above reaction scheme, may vary widely, for example from n=l to n=5, to result in a syngas composition, e.g. expressed as its H2/CO ratio or as the stoichiometric number (SN), which can consequently vary within wide limits. The advantage thereof is that the syngas composition can be adjusted and controlled to match the desired use requirements.

[00061] Preferably, SN of the produced syngas mixture is from 0.1 to 4.0; more preferably SN is from 0.5 to 3.5 or even from 1.0 to 3.0. Such syngas product streams can be further employed as feed stock in different syngas conversion processes, like methanol formation, olefin synthesis, reduction of iron oxide in steel production, oxosynthesis, or (hydro)carbonylation reactions. [00062] The molar ratios of C02 and H2 may be varied in the reactor to influence the composition of the resulting in a syngas composition. For example, the feed gas may contain C02 and H2 in molar ratio of about 1 :3 (n=3 in above equation), resulting in a syngas composition with H2/CO or SN of about 2; which can be advantageously used in olefin or methanol synthesis processes.

[00063] The carbon dioxide in the gaseous feed mixture used in the process of the invention can originate from various sources. Preferably, the carbon dioxide comes from a waste gas stream, e.g. from a plant on the same site, like for example from ammonia synthesis, optionally with (non-catalytic) adjustment of the gas composition, or after recovering the carbon dioxide from a gas stream or from the environment. Recycling such carbon dioxide as starting material in the process of the invention thus contributes to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere (from a chemical production site). The carbon dioxide used as feed may also at least partly have been removed from the effluent gas of the RWGS reaction itself. [00064] The gaseous feed mixture comprising carbon dioxide and hydrogen used in the process of the invention may further contain other gases, provided that these do not negatively affect the reaction. Examples of such other gases include steam or an alkane, like methane, propane or iso-butane. An advantage of such a process according to the invention is that the carbon dioxide hydrogenation reaction can be combined and even integrated with for example steam reforming of methane or with dry reforming of methane (also called C02 reforming). An additional advantage hereof is that water formed by C02 hydrogenation can react with methane to produce more hydrogen; even such that the water level in the final product is very low.

[00065] The invention thus also relates to an integrated process for making syngas comprising a hydrocarbon, esp. methane, reforming step and a RWGS step as defined in the above. Preferably, the hydrogen to carbon dioxide ratio in the feed mixture is at least 2 in this combined process according to the invention, because such excess hydrogen in the gas streams prevents coke formation, which could otherwise de -activate the catalyst; and thus this process results in good catalyst stability.

[00066] The invention further relates to the use of the syngas mixture obtained with the process according to the invention as feed material for a process of making a chemical product; like methanol production, olefin and alkane synthesis (e.g. via Fischer-Tropsch reaction), aromatics production, oxosynthesis, carbonylation of methanol or carbonylation of olefins.
[00067] The invention therefore further relates to a process for making a chemical product using a syngas mixture as an intermediate or as feed material, which process comprises a step wherein carbon dioxide is hydrogenated according to the invention. Examples of such a process include methanol production, olefin and hydrocarbon synthesis, aromatics production, oxosynthesis, carbonylation of methanol, or carbonylation of olefins.

[00068] The invention will be illustrated by the following non-limiting examples.

Example 1 Catalyst Support Preparation

[00069] Gamma alumina was used as support material. An incipient wetness impregnation method was used for catalyst preparation. Ce(N03)3.6H20 and alumina were added to a flask containing deionized water at the concentrations required to obtain the desired weight ratio of 12/100 Ce/Al. These impregnated samples were then dried at 373K in ambient air. Finally, the support was calcined at 1073K for 4 hours, under static air conditions. Subsequently, the active C02 hydrogenation catalyst was dispersed over the support by co-incipient wetness impregnation (co-IWI).

Description of the support' s operation and use

[00070] The reaction setup wherein the supported catalyst from Example 1 was employed is shown in Figure 1. C02 hydrogenation reactions were conducted in a 1 L continuously stirred tank reactor. In a typical experiment, about 20 g of calcined catalyst were dispersed in approximately 400 ml of mineral oil (Aldrich) and subsequently reduced in-situ using CO at 290[deg.]C for 48 hours. Two mass flow controllers regulated by a multi- gas controller, were used to adjust the flow rate of C02 and H2. Hydrogenation of C02 was conducted at 290[deg.]C, 200 psig and a GHSV of 1400 h<"1> at a H2:C02 ratio of 3: 1. The effluent gases were analyzed online. The pressure in the reactor was kept constant.

[00071] The results showed that use of a Ceria-coated gamma-alumina as the support for the dispersed C02 hydrogenation catalyst will increase C02 conversion yield by at least 25% in comparison to dispersed C02 hydrogenated catalyst over uncoated gamma-alumina supports. This increase in yield is extremely high for any process in the petrochemical industry.

Example 2

[00072] Rather than calcining the catalyst at 800 [deg.]C, the catalyst, prepared via an identical synthesis route was calcined at 500 [deg.]C. A 12 wt% Ce/alumina support was prepared using IWI, which was followed by calcination for 4 hours at 500 [deg.]C. The temperature at which the treatment occurs plays a pivotal role in modifying the ceria' s morphology. While ceria nano-particles calcined at lower temperatures are smaller in diameter and show more lattice defects/oxygen vacancies, making them more active for the WGS activity, calcination at a higher temperature results in larger ceria particles, which concurrently leads to less oxygen vacancies. Smaller ceria particles have also been reported to be more easily reduced than larger ones. SEM images of Ce/Al203 particles prepared at the different calcination temperatures show different particle sizes, with the ceria particles calcined at 500 [deg.]C having particle sizes ranging from 200-400 nm, and the ceria particles calcined at 800 [deg.]C having particle sizes ranging from 500-800nm (see Figures 2 and 3). The XRD pattern of the ceria coated alumina show clear and distinct diffraction peaks associated with the Ce02 fluorite lattice, corroborating the presence of large, crystalline particles on top of the alumina support (see Figure 4).

[00073] Ceria is also known to act as a good growth substrate for metal clusters. Oxygen vacancies within the ceria lattice result in the localization of charge over the cations surrounding the vacancy, which in turn serve as nucleation sites for metal clusters. Having obtained the modified alumina support, the same Fe/Mn/K loading, namely 17 wt%, 12 wt% and 8 wt% respectively as was deposited on the support. However, due to the reduction in surface area of about 50% (from approximately 200m<2>/g to 100m<2>/g) upon ceria deposition, the amount of hydrogenation catalyst deposited on the surface was adjusted to provide the same amount of catalyst per surface area to allow an appropriate comparison between the samples. Ce02 precipitation onto alumina is known to significantly reduce the support's surface area and pore volume, due to plugging of the pores by the ceria particles. The catalysts prepared had identical K, Mn, Fe and Ce loadings, with the only variation between them being the different calcination temperature of the Ce-impregnated support (denoted FeMnKCeA1500 and FeMnKCeA1800 for supports calcined at 500 [deg.]C and 800 [deg.]C, respectively).

[00074] Both the FeMnKCeA1500 and FeMnKCeA1800 were tested for their activity in C02 hydrogenation, to establish the effect the calcination temperature has on C02 conversion ability. Based on the increased WGS activity of smaller ceria particles, one may expect that the FeMnKCeA1500 would outperform the
FeMnKCeA1800 catalyst, showing that smaller nanoparticles containing more defects perform better in the RWGS reaction. Both catalysts showed a marked improvement in C02 conversion in comparison to the ceria- free catalyst, with C02 conversion increasing from 41.4% to 47.5% over the FeMnKCeA1500 catalyst and C02 conversion of 50.4% over the FeMnKCeA1800. Furthermore, besides the increase in C02 conversion a reduction in methane formation was observed over both the FeMnKCeA1500 catalyst and the FeMnKCeA1800 catalyst, in comparison to the ceria-free catalyst. Both catalysts also showed an increase in CO production relative to the ceria-free catalyst. All catalyst show comparable olefin/paraffin ratios as well as an equivalent affinity for the formation of the C2-C5+ fraction as shown in Table 1 below.

[00076] The lower C02 conversion over the FeMnKCeA1500 catalyst in comparison to the FeMnKCeA1800 catalyst can be explained on the basis that coverage of the active sites for chain growth by other co-catalysts per unit surface area available has resulted in a diminished activity. FeMnKCeA1500 has a lower concentration of ceria surface species in comparison to FeMnKCeA1800 (by approx. 42%) as was deduced from XPS analyses (see Figure 5). It can be concluded that upon precipitation of Fe, Mn and K onto the treated support, these metals form on top of the ceria grains resulting in a reduced availability of the active ceria sites for the RWGS. [00077] The reduced C02 conversion of FeMnKCe500 in comparison to FeMnKCe800 can be explained by the better dispersion of the C02 hydrogenation catalyst over the smaller ceria particles. As the number of defect sites on the ceria surface increases and thus the number of sites for Fe/Mn/K particle crystallization also increases, the C02 hydrogenation catalyst will be better dispersed over the ceria calcined at the lower temperature, resulting in a reduced surface availability of the ceria for the RWGS reaction to occur (see Figure 6 for a schematic diagram of the catalytic system). Even though surface ceria is reduced by approximately 42% in FeMnKCeA1500 compared to FeMnKCeA1800 (see Table 2), the activity is only diminished by about 32%. This is indicative of the smaller ceria particles being indeed more active for the RWGS, showing an elevated reducibility and thus leading to a higher concentration of active sites per surface area for the RWGS.

[00078] These examples have shown a significant improvement of C02 hydrogenation ability over the iron- based catalyst through the addition of ceria. A truly bifunctional catalyst has been created that converts C02/H2 to valuable HC by carefully adjusting the synthesis procedures. The present catalyst incorporates both RWGS activity and chain-growth to yield high C02 conversion levels. The addition of ceria prior to the deposition of the C02 hydrogenation catalyst results in an approximately 22% increase in C02 conversion, while the product selectivity is not detrimentally affected. It has also been shown that the calcination temperature prior to the deposition of Fe/Mn/K and the correlated ceria particle size may be used to tailor the catalyst' s activity.
Experimental Methods used in the Examples

[00079] 20g of calcined catalyst were dispersed in approximately 400 ml of mineral oil (Aldrich) in a 1L three-phase slurry continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR). Testing apparatus and conditions are reported in Dorner, R. W., Hardy, D. R., Williams, F. W., and Willauer, H. D., Applied Catalysis A: General (2009).. Time- on-stream (TOS) for the catalyst was 100 hours.

[00080] BET surface areas were measured using a Micromeritics ASAP2010 accelerated surface area and porosimetry system. An appropriate amount (-0.25 g) of catalyst sample was taken and slowly heated to 200 [deg.]C for 10 h under vacuum (~50 m Torr). The sample was then transferred to the adsorption unit, and the N2 adsorption was measured at the boiling temperature of nitrogen (T = -196 [deg.]C).

[00081] Powder x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements were performed on all spent catalyst materials. The catalyst was washed in heptane before XRD measurements were taken to remove the mineral oil from the solids. The catalyst was subsequently recovered by conventional filtering procedures. The data were collected on a D8 Siemens Bruker diffractometer with a general area detector employing the Bragg-Brentano geometry and the CuKal wavelength. The data were collected in the 20-50[deg.] 2[Theta] range with a step increment of 0.01[deg.] and the time for each step was 2 seconds.

[00082] XPS measurements were performed on all spent catalyst materials and were used to assess the surface species and quantities present on the powder particles. The XPS studies were carried out using a K- Alpha machine (Thermo Scientific, UK) and the Unifit software (Hesse, R., Chasse, T., and Szargan, R., Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 375 (7), 856 (2003)) for data analysis, using the instrument specific powder sample holder. The system's base pressure was less than 5 x 10<~9> mbar, however the pressure in the analysis chamber during data collection and analysis was 2 x 10<~7> mbar due to the use of the low-energy electron flood gun for charge neutralization. A monochromated Al Ka (hv = 1486.6 eV) was used as the x-ray source. The instrument is regularly calibrated to the binding energies (BE) of Au, Cu and Ag peaks. The C Is, O Is and Al 2p BE are used as internal standards. The Al/C signal ratio (3/2) is almost constant for all samples, ensuring comparability of collected data. All atomic percentages obtained by XPS in this work are converted to weight percentages for comparability sake. [00083] Structural and chemical characterization was performed with a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) - Model LEO DSM 982, LEO. The SEM was operated at an accelerating voltage of 5 kV and the working distance varied from 3 to 8mm. The powder was placed under the SEM detector as a loosely scattered powder stuck to conducting tape. All particle sizes quoted in this paper are average particle sizes representative of the total sample.

[00084] It is to be understood that even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description, together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only, and changes may be made in detail, especially in matters of shape, size and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.


 
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