GenComm partner authors methanation paper

Members of staff at GenComm partner INSA Rouen have recently authored a paper, ‘Remarkably Stable and Efficient Ni and Ni-Co catalysts for CO2 methanation’ . Isabelle Polaert, INSA, explains further a new positive for the energy world:


One of the most serious issues in the climate debates and the countries’ agreements is focused on the continuous increase in CO2 emissions.

CO2 emissions control remains a key point for the future and objectives set in those agreements  still need to be targeted. The main objective is the reduction of earth’s temperature and CO2 emissions through the promotion of renewable energy sources. The European commission has prospected a target of 20% renewable energy by 2020 in its “Energy Roadmap 21”.

Recent agreements are pushing the countries for the use of renewable energies alongside the fossil energies, which would be substituted by the renewables at mid-term. The renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, hydrothermal and hydraulic energy are converted to electricity, because the transport of energy is the easiest in this form.

One of the major challenges in the coming years is to find large capacities and a long term solution to store the surplus electricity. The current storage technologies, including pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH)—the most massive storage technology available—can store only limited amounts of energy over a short period of time . In this context, hydrogen can be obtained by the electrolysis of water, which can store large quantities of electrical energy in form of hydrogen and oxygen. These two molecules can be used directly or as intermediates in the chemical reactions to either reproduce energy or synthesize chemical products.

Meanwhile CO2 methanation uses the hydrogen produced by water electrolysis and CO2 for further production of methane. CO2 methanation still needs to be improved in terms of process efficiency, reactor design and catalyst design. Therefore, our main objective is to contribute to the catalyst design improvement through the development of an efficient Ni or Ni-Co based catalyst with high stability and resistance to deactivation for further utilization in the industrial application.

The use of the efficient catalysts, prepared in this work will allow performing the CO2 methanation reaction at relatively low temperatures and lowering the overall process energy consumption.


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