M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentCalo Idan
SubjectCatalytic Pollutant Abatement from Nitrogen Based
Fuel Combustion
DepartmentDepartment of Chemical Engineering
Supervisors PROF. Gideon Grader
DR. Gennady Shter
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Most of the world energy today is generated by burning conventional fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and natural gas. The world ever-growing population is leading to an increasing energy demand and consumption, which is estimated to more than double by 2050 and more than triple by the end of the century. The growing energy demand will result in significant increase of pollutants emission to the atmosphere that may cause severe environmental problems including global warming, climate change, acid rains and smog formation. For these reasons, nitrogen based compounds have been proposed as an alternative fuels. One candidate is low carbon aqueous solution of urea and ammonium nitrate (UAN). Although theoretically UAN combustion should emit only water, nitrogen and little carbon dioxide, in practice a wide spectrum of pollutants can form, including NH3, N2O, CO and NOx. A post combustion catalytic converter can be used to reduce the pollutant levels below regulations. An experimental system including a combustion reactor coupled to on-line Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) gas analyzer were used to examine the catalytic abatement activity of four noble metals (Ru, Rh, Pd and Pt) under varied conditions and two different experimental configurations. The first is a hollow stainless steel reactor tube and the second is the same external tube with a co-axial thermocouple tube inside it, creating annular flow cross section. High surface area g-Al2O3 was chosen as the support material. With the first configuration it was found that Rh outperformed the Pd, Pt and Ru based catalysts at higher pressure and temperature. However, with the second configuration both Ru and Rh showed much better results at the same conditions. These results met the U.S environmental protection agency (EPA) emission regulation standards and provide significant insights for future implementation of alternative fuel systems and their clean applications.