13 OctChemical Science Student SeminarRed mud as an efficient catalyst in turning CO2 hydrogenation
Red mud as an efficient catalyst in turning CO2 hydrogenation
  • Artem Russkikh, ChemS PhD Student, Supervised by Professor Jorge Gascon
  • Sunday, October 13, 2019
  • 12:30 PM - 01:00 PM
  • Auditorium Between Buildings 4 & 5
2019-10-13T12:302019-10-13T13:00Asia/RiyadhRed mud as an efficient catalyst in turning CO2 hydrogenationChemS and CE Student SeminarAuditorium Between Buildings 4 & 5Linda J. SapoluLinda.Sapolu@kaust.edu.sa

Abstract:  With the constant world population growth, waste management has become one of the biggest challenges of our society. Since 1887 Red Mud is an unavoidable waste derived from the production of alumina in the Bayer process. Because of its high alkalinity and metal loading, Red Mud disposal and storage constitute an important environmental risk, being already the cause of severe ecological accidents. Nevertheless, the presence of different metals in Red Mud could potentially allow its use as a catalyst. Among all possible applications, CO2 valorization could present a turning point as two wastes could be valorized at the same time. Red Mud’s Fe content can possibly convert CO2 and H2 to CO via reverse water gas shift, which will be further converted into a variety of hydrocarbons following a typical Fischer-Tropsch (FTS) mechanism. Among the aforementioned valorization route, CO2 can also be hydrogenated into methanol, that further converted to olefins or aromatics over a zeolite in a bifunctional configuration, but Fe route provides low undesired CO selectivity coupled with the large range of hydrocarbons which can be obtained. Especially interesting are Fe-containing catalysts promoted with potassium that increase selectivity for light olefins. Targeting this fraction is particularly interesting because light olefins demand will reach 475.8 million USD at the end of 2027, with an expected annual growth rate of 5.85%. Here, we demonstrate that, via potassium promotion, Red Mud can be turned into an efficient catalyst for the valorization of CO2 achieving a 45% conversion of CO2 with a light olefin (C2-C4) selectivity of 36% at 350 ºC, 30 bar and at 9600 mL·g-1·h-1, matching the performance of some of the best catalysts reported to date.


  • Linda J. Sapolu
  • Linda.Sapolu@kaust.edu.sa