Growing pressure to mitigate the effects of climate change is prompting more and more companies to look at ways of reducing their carbon footprint. One highly promising avenue involves capturing “waste” streams of this greenhouse gas from industrial processes and putting it to good use. It can be utilised, for instance, as a feedstock to create other useful commodities including chemicals, polymers and fuels such as dimethyl ether.
Pioneering CO₂ recycling
With funding from the German government1 with its partners BASF and its subsidiary hte, researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V., Linde has pioneered a dry reforming technology that feeds carbon dioxide (CO2) into the synthesis gas production process. This process allows large volumes of CO2 emitted by production processes to be utilised by industry rather than being released.
Catalyst upscaling in preparation for commercial maturity
The first steps in this project entailed developing a catalyst capable of activating CO2, which is an inert gas. Once the team had developed two catalysts, they went on to optimise the process flow and increase energy efficiency. Now, following successful completion of nickel catalyst tests at Linde’s Pilot Reformer research facility at Pullach near Munich, the team is focusing on upscaling the catalyst in preparation for commercial production.
 Research funding references 0327856 and 03ET1282.