Bimetallic palladium catalysts for catalytic combustion of methane

Abstract: Catalytic combustion is a promising combustion technique in gas turbines, which results in ultra low levels of NOx, CO and unburned hydrocarbons. Due to the low combustion temperature achieved in catalytic combustion almost no thermal NOx is formed. The focus in this thesis will be on the first stage in a catalytic combustion chamber, i.e. the ignition catalyst. The catalyst used for this application is often a supported palladium-based catalyst due to its excellent activity for methane combustion. However, this type of catalyst has a serious drawback; the methane conversion decreases with time during operation. The unstable activity will result in increasing difficulties to ignite the fuel. The objective of the work presented in this thesis has been to improve the catalytic performance of supported palladium catalysts, with focus on stabilizing the methane conversion.The first part gives a general background to gas turbines and catalytic combustion.The second part concerns the monometallic palladium catalysts; their behaviour during methane combustion is addressed.The third part describes different bimetallic catalysts, which all have palladium as one of the active components. Results from the activity tests of methane combustion showed that it is possible to stabilize the activity by adding certain co-metals into the palladium catalyst. The morphology of the various bimetallic catalysts has been studied to gain a better understanding of the various combustion behaviours.Finally, the influence of pressure on the catalytic performance is evaluated. The catalysts were tested under more realistic conditions for gas turbines, with elevated pressure, in a high-pressure test facility with a 100 kW fuel power.