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Nitrous oxide removal catalysts are protected by a European patent

Nitrous oxide removal catalysts are protected by a European patent
A new method for the preparation of catalysts for the removal of nitrous oxide (N2O) from industrial waste gases has been developed by scientists from the Centre for Energy and Environmental Technologies (CEET) at VSB-Technical University of Ostrava. The eventual use of catalysts to reduce N2O emissions from nitric acid production will have a positive impact on the environment.

Following a Czech patent granted in 2019, the method is now also protected by a European patent, which could facilitate the transfer of research outcomes into practical applications.

Nitrous oxide is one of the sources of pollution that contributes to the greenhouse effect and causes damage to the stratospheric ozone layer. The largest industrial sources of nitrous oxide emissions are waste gases from nitric acid plants. Here, nitrous oxide removal can be carried out by catalytic decomposition at both high and low temperatures or by reduction in the presence of a suitable catalyst and reducing agent.

In the Czech Republic, everyone has gone the route of high-temperature catalytic decomposition of N2O, where the catalyst is installed in existing production facilities. However, it is not possible to reduce nitrous oxide emissions in this way indefinitely. Our solution, on the other hand, focuses on low-temperature decomposition at the end of production, and is able to eliminate the remaining emissions by retrofitting a reactor with our catalyst, ” explained Lucie Obalová, one of the co-authors of the patent and director of the Institute of Environmental Technologies, a part of CEET.

According to the authors, the catalyst is unique in its composition. It is a structured catalyst based on cesium-modified mixed cobalt oxide. “Compared to other catalysts, described in the literature for this reaction, our catalysts show very good efficiency as well as long-term stability, which is essential for potential practical applications. Their preparation is simple and technologically undemanding,” added Obalová, who said the researchers will negotiate the possibility of selling the licence to a foreign company.

Created: 7. 1. 2022
Category:  News
Department: 9390 - Centre for Energy and Environmental Technologies
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