Hydrogen Power Storage & Solutions East Germany

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Hythanol eCO2

Development of a catalytic membrane reactor for the efficient production of methanol through the hydrogenation of CO2 with regenerative hydrogen in the gas phase on a heterogeneous catalyst

Project goals

The main idea of ​​the project is to shift the equilibrium of the methanol synthesis by separating a product in order to increase the yield of the desired product. As a result the reaction can also be carried out economically with expensive starting products such as green hydrogen. For this purpose membranes and membrane-catalyst combinations have to be developed, coupled in terms of process technology and tested under real conditions and for practical suitability. The overall process concept should allow the integration of a wide range of CO2 sources.

The target parameters of the innovative concept are:

  • Development of new catalysts and membranes;
  • Significant increase in methanol yield compared to CO2 hydrogenation in a fixed bed reactor;
  • Increase in reactor throughput while saving energy;
  • Realization of min. 3 process steps in one reactor (process intensification) and
  • Integration of heat management system for waste heat utilization for provided processes (e.g. amine washes).


The economic goal is to achieve a process of methanol synthesis based on the use of CO2 and regenerative hydrogen. The project  enables the HYPOS network to use H2 more variably and intensively and opens up new ways of using it as well as the possibility of storing H2 in the form of liquid methanol. Methanol is a valuable product and is conventionally produced from natural gas or coal via synthesis gas. The project aims to make methanol synthesis from renewable sources and CO2 economically attractive. In addition to that there is an enormous saving potential for CO2 intensive emitters against the background of rising prices for CO2 certificates in the future. It could become an essential aspect for the existence of CO2-intensive heavy industry in Germany and its social acceptance.

Project duration: 36 months
Project start: 01/09/2018
Project budget: € 2.47 million
Funding amount: € 1.71 million
Funding rate: 69 %

Contact person: Dr. Sebastian Wohlrab
Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse e.V.