Summary of Research Project Results under JSPS FY2002
"Research for the Future Program"

1.Research Institution Tohoku University
2.Research Area Physical and Engineering Sciences
3.Research Field Highly Efficient Use of Energy and Reduction of its Environmental Impact
4.Term of Project FY 1998 - FY 2002
5.Project Number 98P01001
6.Title of Project Synthesis of Ecological High Quality Transportation Fuels

7.Project Leader
Name Institution,Department Title of Position
Muneyoshi, Yamada Tohoku University, Graduate School of Engineering Professor

8.Core Members

Name Institution,Department Title of Position
Yasuo, Ohtsuka Tohoku University , Institute for Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials Professor
Keiichi, Tomishige University of Tsukuba, Institute of Materials Science Lecturer
Momoji, Kubo Tohoku University, Graduate School of Engineering Associate Professor

9.Summary of Research Results

  1. Catalyst Development for the Reforming of Hydrocarbons at Low Temperature: A catalytic gasification process of biomass at low temperature under 873 K was developed. We found that a combination of Rh/CeO2/SiO2 with the fluidized bed reactor yields high conversion of biomass to synthesis gas.

  2. Control of Product Selectivity in F-T Synthesis: FT synthesis with Co catalysts supported on SBA-15 was carried out. Active catalysts achieve high STY of 500 g-C/kg-cat/h for C10-C20 hydrocarbons as the main fraction of diesel fuels at 503 K, 2 MPa. Supported Co catalysts prepared by the alkoxide method were also effective. It was claimed that direct production of iso-paraffins as a multipurpose fuel for IC/FC engine from syngas could be realized by a hybrid reaction comprising the conventional FTS reaction and successive hydrocracking and hydroisomerization of products.

  3. Methanol and Dimethyl Ether Synthesis at Low Temperature and Low Pressure: The preparation method of copper-based catalysts was carefully studied for a new low-temperature synthesis method of methanol via formic ester. 80-90% one-pass conversion was achieved at 423-443 K and 3-5 MPa. Both high STY (1100 g-MeOH/kg-cat/h) and 90% CO conversion were achieved at 3 MPa in temperature-gradient reactor for DME synthesis from syngas.

  4. Development of Sulfur Tolerant Catalysts: This task aims to develop CO hydrogenation catalysts with sulfur tolerance that work without desulfurization of the feed. Metal sulfides were found to show methanol synthesis activities even in presence of H2S. Pd sulfide was modified and the methanol yield at 593-613 K reached 50-60% of that with conventional Cu/Zn/Al catalyst.

  5. Design of New Catalysts by Computational Methods: Our combinatorial computational chemistry approach assisted by "Accelerated Quantum Chemical Molecular Dynamics" program with improved accuracy and "Design Rule of Promoter" using computational physics approach enables us to perform high-throughput screening of the large catalyst model including active metals, supports, and additives. Thereby, collaboration with experimental groups in this project was advanced significantly and successfully.

  6. Evaluation of a New Process for Ecological High Quality Transportation Fuels: Thermal efficiency and CO2 emission of the simple process developed in this project is equal or superior to the conventional large-scale process. It is possible to reduce CO2 emission by application of clean fuels using the new process for a diesel engine offering higher thermal efficiency than a gasoline engine.

10.Key Words
(1)Energy and Environment   (2)COP3   (3)Synthetic Fuels
(4)Biomass   (5)F-T Synthesis   (6)Methanol Synthesis
(7)DME Synthesis   (8)Computer Chemistry   (9)Sulfur Tolerant Catalysts