The newly constructed high pressure small scale test unit of CERTH is a versatile unit for the evaluation of the activity and selectivity of solid catalytic materials in different high pressure reactions. The unit is equipped with a feed inflow system able to supply both gases and liquid feeds. There are three gas lines, controlled by high accuracy mass flow controllers and one liquid feed line, delivering liquid hydrocarbon feedstocks via a high precision HPLC pump. The unit operates with a stainless steel fixed bed reactor (ID: 9.3mm), externally heated with a three-zone furnace. The exit stream of the reactor can be either cooled via a heat exchanger and directed to a system of vessels for the separation and collection of the liquid and gaseous products or directed via a heated line to an online GC with both an FID and TCD detector able to analyze hydrocarbons and alcohols. The
reaction temperature is monitored with a thermocouple inserted in the catalytic bed. Both the liquid products and the gaseous stream are analyzed with gas chromatographs. The test facility can operate to a temperature range up to 600°C and pressures up to 100 atm.
The small scale of the unit renders it ideal for the development and investigation of heterogeneous catalysts for high pressure reactions, as well as the performance of kinetic measurements. It can be used for the determination of different variables for research on catalyst improvement, such as reaction temperature, pressure, feed flow etc., catalyst screening, activity and selectivity testing, testing of catalyst lifetime etc. Typical reactions that can be performed in the high pressure test facility are hydrogenation, oxidation and hydrotreating reactions.
The test facility is at the moment used for the development and testing of heterogeneous catalysts in two processes: (a) production of higher alcohols from biomass-derived syngas via the hydrogenation of CO and (b) hydro-isomerization of naphtha cuts.