Catalysis and Processes for CO2 Fixation
Chemical processes that lead via intermediates such as synthesis gas, methanol or DME to fuel and fuel components require powerful, robust and cost-effective catalysts. Power-to-Fuels concepts aim to use such processes to realize the chemical storage of renewable energies. However, the dynamics of electricity generation using wind power (2017: 18.8 % of total electricity generation in Germany) and photovoltaics (2017: 7 %) require such conversions to take place under very different and in some cases not ideal operating conditions, unlike conventional stationary processes in the chemical industry (www.sci.kit.edu/70.php). In joint projects, the IKFT working groups "Catalysis and Processes for CO2 Fixation" and "Catalysis and Processes for Sustainable Fuels" use a process and plant technology that is designed in different scales and for different throughput ranges and develop catalyst materials for the respective process steps. The process steps are optimized by experimentally determined reaction kinetics and the development of kinetic models.
A challenge is the conversion of variable mixtures of CO/CO2/H2, especially regarding the activation of CO2 and the possible use of industrial exhaust gas streams for the conversion with electrolysis hydrogen. For this purpose, we develop suitable catalysts, which we characterize in detail in cooperation with other research groups of the IKFT and investigate down to the molecular level with regard to their activity.