The methanation reaction (conversion of carbon oxides into methane in the presence of hydrogen) is a well-known reaction, for which multiple catalysts have been developed in the literature. It has several applications, including its growing role in power-to-gas processes.
However, catalysts so far developed for the reaction of methanation of pure CO2 currents are difficult to apply to the upgrade of raw biogas, since high levels of activity and stability are required for the conversion of this gas mixture. The specific characteristic of the catalyst object of the invention is that it keeps a high conversion of CO2 in presence of other components of biogas and that it can be used in intensified reactors (GHSV 20000-25000 h-1), where high pressure and high flow rates are used, without loss of catalytic activity. These characteristics make possible its use for the direct methanation of biogas, avoiding additional steps.
Some test into intensified reactors has been carried out with the catalyst reaching a 94% conversion, with 100% methane selectivity, while other commercial catalysts could not exceed 90% conversion, under the same conditions.
The Spanish research organization is looking for energetic companies that can be interested in the development for the production or the use of the catalyst, under a patent license. The material has only been tested at a laboratory scale, but it can be easily adapted to an industrial scale with short development and can be produced in enough amounts to be applied in the upgrading of the raw biogas, increasing the percentage of methane in the gas mixture.
The Spanish public organization has broad experience in the development of novel catalyst for innovative industrial processes and in the collaboration with industry partners in their development and scale up.