DeNOx catalyst at low temperature to reduce emissions of ultrafine particles

Recently, there has been an increasing demand for DeNOx catalysts capable of treating nitrogen oxides (NOx) at low temperatures, in order to increase energy efficiency when treating flue gases in industrial combustion plants. NOx is emitted during the combustion of fossil fuels and is the main cause of ultrafine particles (UFP) formed by chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

However, the existing catalysts have a problem of reduced durability due to the poisoning of the active sites of the catalyst due to the formation of ammonium sulphate, when the sulfur in the fumes reacts with ammonia as a reducing agent at low temperature. (

At the Extreme Materials Research Center, part of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), a research team consisting of Dr. Kwon, Dong Wook and Dr. Ha, Heon Phil announced the development a high durability, low temperature catalytic material for selective catalytic reduction (SCR); it can reduce NOx into water and nitrogen, which is harmless to the environment and human body.

The team has successfully developed a composite catalyst material based on vanadium oxide which considerably limits the formation of toxic ammonium sulphate by suppressing the adsorption reaction between the active sites and the sulfur dioxide. A catalyst interface engineering technique was used in which molybdenum and antimony oxide were added to the vanadium catalyst.

The developed vanadium oxide composite catalyst material significantly increased catalyst life when exposed to sulfur dioxide at 220°C, with time to reach 85 percent of initial performance delayed from about seven times that of the conventional catalyst. The catalyst developed is also energy efficient due to the increased activity at low temperatures, which significantly reduces the NOx processing load without heating the exhaust gases. As a result, it is possible to reduce the cost of treating air pollutants if the developed catalyst is applied to industrial sites in the future.

After completing the lab-scale reactor experiment, the team set up a pilot demonstration facility at Kumho Petrochemical’s Yeosu 2nd Power Cogeneration Plant to conduct tests using real flue gases. The KIST-Kumho Petrochemical team aims to establish plant facilities by 2022 after deriving an optimal operation plan by evaluating and verifying the driving variables of the demonstration facility for approximately ten months.

Ko, Young Hoon, Head of R&BD Center of Kumho Petrochemical (Vice President), said, “The reduction of NOx, which accounts for most of the harmful substances in the exhaust gas from our cogeneration plant, is a problem crucial for Kumho Petrochemical. ESG management. Next, he added, “We are successfully conducting empirical research by installing pilot equipment for power plants to secure the preemptive reduction technology above the level of advanced countries, and we plan to conduct tests scale-up of the technology in order to transform it into a commercial high-durability, low-temperature SCR catalytic technology.

– This press release was provided by the National Research Council of Science & Technology website

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