Research 2011.11.15 20:40

star01c.gif Reforming of Methane (CH4) with Carbon Dioxide (CO2)       - 'Dry reforming'

  Human beings have been greatly dependent upon fossil fuels as a primary energy
source for their more convenient, facile and pleasant lives. As a result of the indiscrete use of the fuels, people are being confronted with many unavoidable problems such as exhaustion of fossil fuels, water and air pollutions, and global warming.

 Global warming, the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans, has become very serious global issue because a lot of catastrophic events all over the world such as hot extremes,heat waves, and frequent heavy precipitation can be attributed to the global warming.

 It has been known that so-called greenhouse gases (composed of water vapor,carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and ozone (O3)) cause global warming and among them carbon dioxide (CO2, 9-26 %) has the greatest influence on global warming (except for water vapor (36-70 %)). (Each number expressed as a percentage represents not the amount of greenhouse gas but the relative degree of influence each gas has on global warming.)

 Thus, from the Earth Summit (also known as the Rio Summit or the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992), the Kyoto Protocol (initially adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005) to 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 16 and MOP 6, held in Cancun, Mexico in 2010), every nation on this planet has been forced to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from industrial processes and to research the ways of releasing less amount of CO2.

 One approach to reducing the amount of CO2 released to Earth's surface is to use CO2 as a feedstock for producing more valuable products. One such method, which our research group is working on, is reforming of methane (CH4) with carbon dioxide (CO2) (or 'dry reforming') which produces synthesis gas (also called as 'syngas') as a result of the reaction (Reaction (1)). This 'dry reforming' reaction occurs over catalysts at relatively high temperature, and syngas produced by the reforming reaction, in turn, can be a feedstock for synthesizing other fuels and chemicals such as higher hydrocarbons and oxygenated derivatives (Reaction (2)). Consequently CO2, "a pain in the neck", can be transformed into useful materials going through intermediate state (syngas).

  ■  CH4 + CO2 → 2CO + 2H2                                      Reaction (1)
  ■  Synthesis gas (CO +H2) → CxHy or CxHyOz              Reaction (2)

In south Korea, carbon dioxide generated from the steel industry occupies a large part of total amount of CO2 released. Therefore, in order to deal with this problem effectively, our research group have studied about two technologies:

1) Auto-thermal reforming of CH4 with CO2 which is contained in gas from shaft furnace using high-pressure fluidized bed reactor and 2) Method and technology for transforming CH4 from COG (coke oven gas) into valuable materials through appropriate reforming reaction and these two researches can be combined into one single process.

All members of our research group are making ceaseless effort to invent and develop more energy- and cost-efficient technologies for reducing CO2 emissions in industry and to reach the goal of making our planet more beautiful and cleaner.


posted by ECOCAT