The aim of the work in Laboratory of Petrochemical Technology (LPT) is to improve and develop new thermochemical (catalytic) processes with low energy and environmental footprint through an integrated, mainly experimental approach. Of particular interest are the conversion of alkanes to alkenes and alternative fuels, the synthesis of high added value products from biomass-derived components and the conversion of natural gas to alternative fuels. Research efforts are also directed towards high temperature CO2 capture from the flue gases of energy–intensive processes. Our research involves a synergistic combination of efforts in the areas of solids synthesis (catalysts), characterization and evaluation. Several preparation techniques are applied, such as impregnation methods, co-precipitation, sol-gel, combustion synthesis etc. A wide range of physicochemical and spectroscopic methods are applied to determine the textural (N2 adsorption – BET), structural (XRD, FTIR, SEM, HR-TEM) and physicochemical (ICP, Temperature-programmed reduction/oxidation/desorption etc) properties of the catalysts during preparation and before/after reaction. The performance is evaluated in lab scale test units with fixed and fluidized bed reactors equipped with on-line analytical equipment. The units are also suitable for the kinetic investigation of reactions and the development of mechanistic kinetic models. Apart from kinetic modelling, the computational activities of LPT include also reactor design and process simulation of the studied processes.
Contribution to the project
The Laboratory of Petrochemical Technology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki led by Professor Angeliki Lemonidou is the CO22MeOH project coordinator and is responsible for overall management. The research activities of the laboratory are focused on the development of technologies for CO2 capture from the flue gases of cement industry and more specifically on the use of high and intermediate temperature solid sorbents via Carbonate Looping technology. The carbonation reaction is strongly exothermic and can be carried out at low (<200°C), intermediate (200–400°C), or high temperatures (>400°C), depending on the type of solid material used. The main research objective is the development solid CO2 sorbents based on low cost natural minerals after appropriate modifications to stabilize their structure in repeated carbonation/calcination cycles. The materials will be tested in terms of sorption capacity and cyclic stability initially in a thermobalance and in a next step, the promising ones, in lab– and pilot–scale continuous flow units.