Institute for Thermal Energy Technology and Safety (ITES)

Process technology with liquid metals

At the Karlsruhe Liquid Metal Laboratory (KALLA), liquid metals are used for chemical processes at temperatures beyond 1000° C. Because of their excellent heat transfer properties, but also other characteristics such as a relatively high density, which is beneficial for certain separation effects, liquid metals particularly qualify as heat transfer and process fluid. The currently investigated application fields of liquid metals in process technology at KALLA are the CO2-free production of hydrogen in a thermochemical decomposition of methane in liquid tin, the use of sodium vapour as a catalyst for the water-free production of formaldehyde for synthetic fuels and the combination of the methane pyrolysis with further process steps to produce carbon black from atmospheric CO2.

Research objectives

At KALLA the reaction mechanisms of high temperature processes with liquid metals are tested at lab and pilot scale. Research focus is, among others, the heat transfer mechanisms in the liquid metal flow, bubble and fluid dynamics in liquid metal bubble columns, reaction kinetics and the analysis of reaction products – such as the highly pure carbon from the methane pyrolysis.

You can find more information about the current projects here: NECOC, DECAGAS, NAMOSYN.

 

Relevant references: more

Geißler, T.; Plevan, M.; Abánades, A.; Heinzel, A.; Mehravaran, K.; Rathnam, R., Rubbia, C. Salmieri, D., Stoppel, L., Stückrad, S., Weisenburger, A., Wenninger, H., Wetzel, T. (2015).
Experimental investigation and thermo-chemical modeling of methane pyrolysis in a liquid metal bubble column reactor with a packed bed, Int J Hydrogen Energy 40 (41), 14134–14146.

Geißler, T., Abánades, A., Heinzel, A., Mehravaran, K., Müller, G., Rathnam, R., Rubbia, C. Salmieri, D., Stoppel, L., Stückrad, S., Weisenburger, A., Wenninger, H., Wetzel, T. (2016).
Hydrogen production via methane pyrolysis in a liquid metal bubble column reactor with a packed bed, Chem. Eng. J. 299, 192–200.

Plevan, M., Geißler, T., Abánades, A., Mehravaran, K., Rathnam, R., Rubbia, C. (2015).
Thermal cracking of methane in a liquid metal bubble column reactor: Experiments and kinetic analysis, Int J Hydrogen Energy 40 (25), 8020–8033.

 

Contact:

Dr.-Ing. Leonid Stoppel Dr.-Ing. Klarissa Niedermeier Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wetzel
Tel. 0721/608-26631 Tel. 0721/608-26902 Tel. 0721/608-46447
leonid.stoppel∂kit.edu klarissa.niedermeier∂kit.edu thomas.wetzel∂kit.edu