Host institution: Instituto Superior Técnico Lisboa (IST-CATHPRO )
Supervisor: Carlos Henriques
Start date: June 2019
Gross salary: ~27 000 € /year (may vary according to institution).

Title: Valorization and optimization of plasma assisted CO2 catalytic reduction of CO2 methanation


CO2 can be used as chemical reagent and CO2 hydrogenation allows obtaining low-carbon synthetic fuels. In particular, CO2 hydrogenation for methane production (Sabatier reaction) is a most interesting solution since CH4 can be directly injected into already existing natural gas network. Non-thermal plasmas have recently started to be studied as a novel energy source to perform the CO2 methanation reaction, together with heterogeneous catalysts.

Preliminary results, obtained under glow-discharge conditions, show that methanation catalysts behaviour strongly NWO-I from results obtained under classical heating. On the contrary results obtain under DBD induced catalysis follow those obtained under classical heating.

Furthermore it is clear that plasma induced CO2 methanation catalysis strongly depend on catalysts composition, even when no significant differences were observed when catalytic tests were performed under classical heating.

Links with other ESRs: comparison with results obtained in ESR 1 for correlation between surface electric field and surface reactivity, Important data for the design of catalyst

Expected Results:

  • Preparation of efficient catalysts for catalytic methanation of CO2
  • Conceive of an optimized system to perform the plasma-assisted CO2 methanation
  • Study of reaction mechanism under OPERANDO FTIR both glow-discharge and DBD plasma-assisted conditions. Direct observation of surface reaction mechanisms
  • Comparison of catalytic results obtained under plasma-assisted and classical heating and CO2 methanation.

Co-supervisor: Federico Azzolina-Jury (CNRS-LCS), 18 months The ESR will develop catalytic materials at IST-CATHPRO and obtaining situ IR measurements with the OPERANDO setup from CNRS-LCS

Additional secondment: A secondment at Green Syn Fuel is planned for realistic design of industrial reactors (3 months)