Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas with an effect 298 times greater than CO2 on the global warming. The industrial sector generates 5% of the total emissions of N2O and they are increasing in the last years. In particular, emissions in nitric acid plants have a particular difficulty in being reduced. The most effective technologies for the elimination of nitrous oxide in nitric acid plants are catalytic decomposition processes after the ammonia oxidation stage (secondary treatment) or in the tail gas stream (tertiary treatment).
The invention consists on a new solid catalyst for the tertiary treatment of nitrous oxide emissions. The material shows a significant improvement in the catalytic activity, allowing the use of lower volume of catalyst at lower temperatures, for the N2O removal.
The catalyst was tested under real operating conditions of a nitric acid production plant: 1400 ppm N2O, 3% O2, 0.5% H2O and a catalyst flow/volume ratio of 50,300 h-1, resulting in N2O conversion value of 98% at 340ºC.
The Spanish research organisation is looking for companies of the chemical sector interested in the manufacture or, alternatively, nitric acid producers interested in the use of this catalyst for the removal of the nitrous gas, under a patent license. The catalyst has only been tested at a laboratory scale, therefore, some further development might be needed before reaching an industrial use and the Spanish research organisation could collaborate with the company in that project.
The Spanish research organization has broad experience in the development of novel catalyst for innovative industrial processes and in the collaboration with industrial partners in their development and scale up