Micro structured slurry bubble columns for CO2-to-MeOH

Micro structured slurry bubble columns for CO2-to-MeOH
1st supervisor and 1st promotor: Prof. Niels Deen
2nd supervisor and co-promotor: Assistant Prof. Yali Tang
Affiliation: Eindhoven University of Technology
Research theme: Smart Biomass Conversion

There is a large need for new options to use (future) cheap electricity to convert CO2 into value-added products, such as methanol. There are three important enablers in the development of these so-called CO2-to-MeOH processes: suitable catalyst materials, reaction mechanisms and chemical reactors.

In this project we will investigate the merits of a micro-structured slurry bubble column reactor as the preferred process for MeOH production (similar to LPMEOH processes for liquid phase methanol production from syngas). In slurry bubble columns the reactant gases are bubbled through an inert liquid that is used to carry the catalyst and to act as a heat sink. The contact between the phases will be intensified by using wire meshes that cut bubbles into smaller pieces, thereby increasing the surface area and enhancing the mass transfer.

The PhD student will first compare the slurry bubble column process with conventional reactor types using simple empirical reactor models. The empirical modeling study should provide direction for optimal process design, which we will study in much more detail in terms of flow phenomena, heat and mass transfer characteristics, and conversion/selectivity, via detailed CFD simulation studies.


  • CO2-to-MeOH
  • Slurry bubble column
  • CFD
  • Reactor design
  • Transport phenomena