What does Catacel make?
Catacel shapes special metal foils into a variety of geometries, then coats the foils with different catalysts designed to enable specific reactions within specific environments. The resulting shaped and coated foils are used within components that enable combustion, catalytic partial oxidation, fuel reforming, tail gas combustion, gas-to-liquid, de-sulphurization, hydrogen production via steam methane reforming, and carbon capture processes. Such components commonly are used in fuel cells, syngas and industrial gas applications.
Who uses Catacel products?
Catacel is an essential supplier to organizations such as fuel cell manufacturers, hydrogen plant builders, onsite hydrogen plant operators, liquid natural gas producers, government agencies and research labs developing and commercializing new energy and hydrogen technologies. Catacel also supplies academic research facilities with specialized hardware to augment the development of various energy technologies.
What makes using metal foil as a catalyst support structure particularly desirable?
Thin metal foil offers remarkable advantages over traditional materials. Thin metal foil is lightweight and ductile, can be formed into an array of geometries, provides a large amount of surface for catalytic partial oxidation and other catalytic reactions, is very durable and operates up to 900 degrees C. Most importantly, thin metal foil transfers heat efficiently. Catacel foils and designs are very thermally efficient, facilitating heat transfer to adjoining surfaces or structures. This heat exchange provides an increase in efficiency for many traditional processes.
How does Catacel bond catalysts to the metal foil?
This process is at the heart of Catacel’s patents and trade secrets and is proprietary information. However, it is completely fair to say that no company has more expertise in coating metal foil surfaces for long-lasting operation with catalysts than Catacel.
Industrial gas catalysis usually involves ceramic pellets and “monoliths.” Why are metal foil structures a better option?
Ceramic catalytic structures have two major performance issues: ceramics break and disintegrate under use; and the catalytic effectiveness of ceramics is limited by heat transfer.
- As ceramics break down, backpressure increases and additional energy is needed to pump flow through. Similar to what happens at the bottom of a cereal box, fragmented ceramics retard the free flow of process gas through a reforming tube that depends on a consistent throughput. Foil structures are not subject to breakage and are engineered to optimize and maintain process gas flow, catalytic activity, heat exchange and the output of the desired reformate.
- Ceramics are poor conductors of heat, which means the throughput and/or efficiency of catalytic processes is fundamentally limited by heat transfer. Foil solutions offer considerably better heat transfer and fundamentally better throughput and/or efficiency.
Are Catacel’s materials more expensive than the ceramic media they replace?
Yes, Catacel’s precision formed and catalyst coated foil materials are more expensive than ceramic media. But in real-world use, Catacel materials, with their extended life design, can reduce the number of expensive plant shutdowns for media changeover. Additionally, Catacel’s metal foils use less fuel to create the desired volume of reformate, a significant factor to mid- and large-scale industrial gas producers. And, by virtue of higher efficiency, metal foils can contribute to smaller, less expensive plant designs – plants with fewer reforming tubes, for example, which are very high cost components. In many applications, Catacel provides complete ROI within a two-year period.
Why are Catacel’s foil materials frequently corrugated?
Corrugation and other precision shaping operations allow foil surface area to be maximized within a given space. More catalyst can be displayed on the foil and thus more catalytic activity can be provided.
How many products does Catacel offer?
Catacel offers two product brands: SSR® for steam methane reforming to produce pure hydrogen; and HEP®, a low-cost, heat exchanging catalytic platform used primarily by companies experimenting with fuel cell and fuel reforming prototypes. Beyond the brands are many coated metal strips, fins, annuli, and other structures designed for specific reaction applications, including catalytic partial oxidation.
What are the names of some of Catacel’s customers?
Catacel maintains a strict confidentiality policy when it comes to customer relationships and the specifics of projects.
How does a company initiate a project with Catacel?
The typical process has evolved into one or two phone calls or meetings between Catacel and the customer to discuss project objectives and requirements. Next, the customer shares drawings, diagrams, and specifications to enable analysis and proposal. At this point in the process, Catacel will enter into appropriate non-disclosure agreements. Then follows an iterative review and analysis of Catacel’s proposal. Often the customer will purchase prototype units for testing and proof of concept. Other projects may involve a customer-funded engineering study. Throughout the project, customers can count on thoroughly professional attention and effort from all Catacel correspondents – in sales, engineering, or production management.
Contact Catacel now for more information on how our expertise can make the difference in your catalytic partial oxidation, steam reforming or related energy project.