Catacel was recently featured on Phys.org, a leading web-based science, research and technology news service, in an article titled “NASA is catalyst for hydrogen technology.”
According to the article, in 2004, Catacel was developing a catalyst that could potentially benefit a fuel reforming project that NASA’s Glenn Research Center was working on with Boeing. At that time, Catacel did not possess all the hardware it needed to test and develop what was potentially a better catalyst. However, NASA decided the program merits justified its support, and had the needed equipment up and running in short order. From that, an enduring partnership was born.
According to the lead engineer on the NASA team, Catacel’s structured catalyst had a heat transfer rate about two times higher than the commercial ceramic catalyst at that time. That allowed the reforming process to be conducted with about 35 percent less combustion fuel, and with favorable impact on the service life of the reformer.
This initial partnership helped Catacel launch its Stackable Structural Reactors (SSR®) for industrial steam methane reforming, a critical process for the production of industrial gas for refinery and petrochemical processes, and for the production of ammonia and methanol. After the SSR was proven effective in plant demonstrations, Catacel was acquired by Johnson Matthey plc in September 2014.