Enterprise Europe Network

Catalyst for the upgrading of raw biogas

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Partner keyword: 
Inorganic Substances
Biogas and anaerobic digestion (AD)
Oil, gas and coal
Biomass and Biofuels
Research and experimental development on biotechnology
Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering


A Spanish public research organisation has developed a catalyst for the reaction of methanation of the carbon dioxide of biogas, which shows high levels of conversion per volume of catalyst, allowing the direct reaction, only in one step. The catalyst has been tested in real biogas, reaching a final gas composition that meets the specifications for being injected into the natural gas grid. Energetic companies are being sought to collaborate and use the catalyst through a patent licence agreement



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.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
• The catalyst shows an excellent activity in the transformation of carbon dioxide from biogas, allowing a direct methanation, in a single stage. • It can be used in intensified reactors. • It can lead to a 95% CO2 conversion in biogas currents, with 100% CH4 selectivity. • It shows high stability for more than 250 hours. • It can be applied to other methanation processes, such as the production of methane from renewable hydrogen and CO2.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Under development/lab tested

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Chemical or energetic companies, interested in the production or the use of this catalyst under patent license, are sought. The role of the company would be : - to develop the scale-up of the catalyst, in collaboration with the R&D institution, since it has only been tested at a laboratory scale - the commercialization or use.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500