Laboratory of Chemical Reaction Engineering

Research Focus and Overview

The research focus of the group is on controlling the transport trajectories in chemical reactors by structuring at different length and time scales. Therefore, porous catalysts and multiphase reactors are structured and systematically studied under dynamic operation conditions. The inherent interplay between transport properties and structure is evaluated by combination of physical as well as numerical experiments with emphasis on syngas reactions for chemical energy conversion and storage.

The expertise in the group covers synthesis and characterization of porous, solid catalysts, experimental evaluation of chemical reactors, modeling and simulation of multiphase reactors as well as unsteady-state process operation.

Head of Laboratory: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Güttel

Structured Catalysts and Reactors

The project aims at the development of nanostructured core-shell catalysts for syngas reactions (Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, CO/CO2 methanation), which are robust under the harsh reaction conditions and thus stable for long operation periods. Furthermore, these materials are proven to allow tuning the product selectivity for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. In order to transfer the promising features into application, the project also covers the continuous synthesis as well as the immobilization on support structures, such as honeycombs.

Key Publications:

  1. Straß-Eifert, A., vam der Wal, L., Hernandez, Mejia, C., Weber, L., Yoshida, H., Zecevic, J., de Jong, K., Güttel, R. (2021). Bifunctional Co-based Catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis: Descriptors affecting the product distribution. ChemCatChem, in press. doi: 10.1002/cctc.202100270
  2. Straß-Eifert, A., Sheppard, T.L., Damsgaard, C.D., Grunwaldt, J.-D., Güttel, R. (2021). Stability of Cobalt Particles in and outside HZSM‐5 under CO Hydrogenation Conditions Studied by ex situ and in situ Electron Microscopy. ChemCatChem, 13, 718-729. doi: 10.1002/cctc.202001533
  3. Sánchez, A., Milt, V.G., Miró, E.E., Güttel, R. (2020). Ceramic fiber-based structures as catalyst supports: a study on mass and heat transport behavior applied to CO2 methanation. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 59 (38) 16539-16552. doi: 10.1021/acs.iecr.0c01997
  4. Kirchner, J., Zambrzycki, C., Baysal, Z., Kureti, S., Güttel, R. (2020). Fe based core-shell model catalysts for the reaction of CO2 with H2. Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis, 131 (1) 119-128. doi:10.1007/s11144-020-01859-9
  5. Ilsemann, J., Straß-Eifert, A., Friedland, J., Kiewidt, L., Thöming, J., Bäumer, M., Güttel, R. (2019). Cobalt@Silica core-shell catalysts for hydrogenation of CO/CO2 mixtures to methane. ChemCatChem 11, 4884-4893. doi:10.1002/cctc.201900916
  6. Güttel, R., Turek, T. (2016). Improvement of Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis through Structuring on Different Scales. Energy Technology 4 (1) 44-54. doi:10.1002/ente.201500257
  7. Kruse, N., Machoke, A. G., Schwieger, W., Güttel, R. (2015). Nanostructured Encapsulated Catalysts for Combination of Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis and Hydroprocessing. ChemCatChem 7 (6) 1018-1022. doi:10.1002/cctc.201403004

Unsteady-State Reactor Operation

Unsteady-state reactor operation is one of the main challenges for the efficient utilization of renewable ressources in the chemical value chain, since it requires a deep understanding of the involved processes at multiple time and length scales. From scientific viewpoint the systematic analysis of reactor dynamics provides a high information density, which can only be evaluated by sophisticated combination of physical and numerical experimentation. The project aims at developing such methods in order to allow for application in Power-to-X processes.

Key Publications:

  1. Theurich, S., Rönsch, S., Güttel, R. (2019). Transient Flow Rate Ramps for Methanation of Carbon Dioxide in an Adiabatic Fixed-Bed Recycle Reactor. Energy Technology, 8 (3) 1901116. doi:10.1002/ente.201901116
  2. Matthischke, S., Rönsch, S., Güttel, R. (2018). Start-up time and load range for the methanation of carbon dioxide in a fixed-bed recycle reactor. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 57 (18) 6391–6400. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.8b00755
  3. Meyer, D., Friedland, J., Kohn, T., Güttel, R. (2017). Transfer Functions for Periodic Reactor Operation: Fundamental Methodology for Simple Reaction Networks. Chemical Engineering & Technology 40 (11) 2096-2103. doi:10.1002/ceat.201700122
  4. Güttel, R. (2013). Study of Unsteady-State Operation of Methanation by Modeling and Simulation. Chemical Engineering & Technology 36 (10) 1675-1682. doi:10.1002/ceat.201300223

Multiphase Reactions and Reactors

Gas-liquid reactions for stoichiometric conversion and heterogeneously catalysed reactions are of great importance in the chemical industry. For very fast kinetics and highly exothermic reactions the design of suitable reactors with superior efficiency is highly demanding, as convective and conductive heat and mass transfer depend on often chaotic hydrodynamics. The aim is the development of experimental equipment and simulation models to gather reliable kinetic data for reactor design and scale up.

Key Publications:

  1. Meyer, D., Schumacher, J., Friedland, J., Güttel, R (2020). Hydrogenation of CO/CO2 Mixtures on Nickel Catalysts: Kinetics and Flexibility for Nickel Catalysts. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 59 (33) 14668-14678. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.0c02072
  2. Lechner, M., Kastner, K., Chan, C. J., Güttel, R., Streb, C. (2018). Aerobic Oxidation Catalysis by a Molecular Barium Vanadium Oxide. Chemistry - A European Journal 24 (19) 4952-4956. doi:10.1002/chem.201706046
  3. Lechner, M., Güttel, R., Streb, C. (2016). Challenges in polyoxometalate-mediated aerobic oxidation catalysis: catalyst development meets reactor design. Dalton Transactions 45, 16716-16726. doi:10.1039/C6DT03051C


Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

[04/21] Our paper on bi-functional cobalt/zeolite catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis got published in ChemCatChem. The reaction experiments are performed at Krijn de Jong lab with a lot of support by the colleagues at Utrecht Universty. We are very thankfulfor the fruitful collaboration.

Chemische Reaktionstechnik

[03/21] Our new textbook is available in print and online. Unbelievable to hold it in my hands...
Now, we fill the book website with examples based on the simulation tool Python.

Robert Güttel and Thomas Turek (2021), Chemische Reaktionstechnik, Springer Spektrum, Berlin, Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-662-63149-2

Environmental TEM

[01/21] We studied the sintering behavior of Co-based catalysts under syngas atmosphere via environmental TEM together with our colleague Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt (see 10.1002/cctc.202001533).

Versatile Materials

[01/21] Nanostructured Fe@SiO2 core-shell materials can be used both as catalysts and for waste water treatment, as we've shown together with our colleages (see 10.3390/catal11010072).

Methanation kinetics

[07/20] We published a paper on the kinetics for hydrogenation of CO/CO2 mixtures towards methane, which can be found here: 10.1021/acs.iecr.0c02072.

Fibrious Structures for Methanation

[08/20] Ceramic fibers are promising structures to perform highly exothermic reactions, such as methanation of CO2, as can be red here: 10.1021/acs.iecr.0c01997.

Iron-Based Catalysts for Methanation

[09/20] A very successful collaboration with Sven Kureti demonstrates the potential of nanostructured Fe@SiO2 catalysts for methanation of CO2 (see 10.1002/cite.201900157 and 10.1007/s11144-020-01859-9).