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Coproducción de hidrógeno y nanotubos de carbono o grafeno mediante descomposición catalítica de metano


Oferta Tecnológica
Un instituto de investigación español que trabaja en el campo de combustibles sostenibles y en la producción de materiales de alto valor añadido ha desarrollado un método de descomposición catalítica de metano para la coproducción de hidrógeno y productos basados en carbono de alto valor añadido, como nanotubos de carbono y grafeno. La principal ventaja es el control del mecanismo de formación de carbono y sus propiedades físicas. Otra ventaja es el desarrollo de nanopartículas magnéticas de cobalto que facilitan la separación catalítica de los productos de carbono. Se buscan socios con el fin de establecer acuerdos de licencia o comercialización con asistencia técnica.


Co-production of hydrogen and graphene or carbon nanotubes by catalytic methane decomposition
A Spanish research institute working on sustainable fuels and production of high value-added materials has developed a methane catalyst decomposition method that yields co-production of hydrogen and high added valued carbon based products such as graphene or carbon nanotubes. They are looking for license agreement or commercial agreement with technical assistance.
Hydrogen has been considered as a convenient clean energy vector; therefore great efforts have been dedicated to develop efficient methods for both production and storage of hydrogen, H2. Methane, CH4, either from fossil fuels or biomass (Biogas), is the main and more convenient source of H2 due to its high H/C ratio. Currently, natural gas steam reforming (SMR) is the most widely used technology to produce hydrogen. However, an important drawback of this process is the formation of carbon dioxide, CO2, as reaction product, which is the principal responsible of anthropogenic greenhouse emissions.
Consequently, capture and storage of the CO2 produced in each stage has been proposed in order to reduce the release of this gas, but the development of new routes for an efficient production of hydrogen are still required.
Among the alternative hydrogen generation technologies, the catalytic methane decomposition (DeCH4) fulfils those requirements, not accomplished by SMR, as it results in carbon fixation according to the following scheme: CH4 (g) ¿ 2 H2 (g) + C(s)
Therefore, this reaction generates high purity H2 (optimal for fuel cells devices) and, at the same time, CO2 emissions are avoided. Moreover, high yields of carbon are also obtained, and this material can be very valuable for different energetic applications. However, the challenge is the design of catalysts that controls the carbon formation mechanism and its physical properties. This is relevant not only because deactivation of the catalysts must be limited in order to increase the hydrogen production, but also because the valorisation of the carbonaceous solid is crucial for achieving an economically feasibility process.
Researchers at a Spanish R-Y-D institute have revealed that tuning the catalyst properties and the operation conditions, methane decomposition can yield graphene, carbon nanotubes or graphite. These advances open up a very attractive way for the simultaneous generation of hydrogen and functional carbon.
This novel synthetic procedures leads to a fine selection of the textural and structural properties of transition metal based catalysts, which are active in DeCH4 (methane decomposition) reaction. Using these catalysts a higher H2 production is obtained at relatively low temperature (<700 ºC) and simultaneously carbon materials are obtained.

The possible market application are:
· Hydrogen production
· Graphene and carbon nanotube synthesis

The institute is looking for companies interesting in acquiring the license for their production. They will also study other possible collaboration, especially technical cooperation agreement depending on the partner.

Advantages and Innovations:
The main advantage is that it controls the carbon formation mechanism and its physical properties. The advantage also include:
· High purity H2 production, without CO2 formation.
· Production of high added valued carbon based products such as graphene or carbon nanotubes.
· Development of cobalt magnetic nanoparticles that facilitate the catalyst separation from the carbon products.
Stage of Development:
Under development/lab tested
Secret know-how

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Company- enterprise with availability of shale gas or biogas and willing to transform it into H2 and Graphene and carbon nanotube synthesis
They are looking for license agreement or commercial agreement with technical assistance, other role and collaboration could be defined with the company but should include to acquire the technology for their production.


Type and Size of Client:
R&D Institution
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
04009 Captura de carbono
02007021 Nanotubos de carbono
04002002 Producción de hidrógeno