Heterogeneous catalytic reactors are the workhorses of the chemical industry. Despite their simple mechanical design, they show a complex behavior due to the interplay between linear transport processes, nonlinear reaction kinetics and dynamic changes of the catalyst inside the reactor. Our work at the Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering at Hamburg University of Technology and at REACNOSTICS aims at understanding the behavior of catalysts and catalytic reactors under industrial conditions. The talk will provide an overview of experimental and computational methods we apply in Hamburg to understand what is happening inside industrial catalytic reactors. Several application examples will be presented including catalytic ammonia oxidation to nitric oxide at high temperatures, propylene epoxidation to propylene oxide in liquid phase and the interplay of diffusion and reaction in a single porous catalyst pellet for carbon monoxide oxidation on platinum. Novel methodical developments will be presented for studying catalysts inside reactors such synchrotron based spatially resolved XAS and XRD profiling revealing bulk catalyst changes as well as iso-potential DRIFTS for measuring catalyst surface adsorbate profiles inside reactors.
Raimund Horn is Professor and Head of the Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering at Hamburg University of Technology. He received his Diploma in Chemistry from the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena / Germany (2000) and his PhD from Technical University Berlin (2003). Prior to joining Hamburg University of Technology in 2013, Dr. Raimund Horn worked as head of the High Temperature Catalysis group at the Fritz-Haber-Institute of the Max-Planck-Society in Berlin in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry. Since a postdoctoral stay at the University of Minnesota (2005-2007), Dr. Horn’s research focusses on the experimental and numerical diagnostics of catalytic reactors, catalyst dynamics inside reactors and its implications for reactor performance. In addition to his academic work, Raimund Horn is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of REACNOSTICS GmbH, a spin-off from Hamburg University of Technology founded in 2017.
Hamburg University of Technology