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Full Version: Development and Characterization of catalyst for cracking of methane at low temperat
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Submitted By:Kripa M.S


Rural areas in developing countries have energy crisis due to oil price increase on one hand and the depletion of traditional fuel resources such as firewood. In developing countries, the major part of energy requirement is for the domestic use for cooking, water, lighting and drinking water supply. Methane from biomass which is abundant in rural areas can be utilized to generate heat and electric energy. To make this possible, controlling methane pollution and eco friendly energy production, cracking of methane with no or minimal external agency is essential. Based on this objective, this proposal for developing a catalyst and characterization of the same for methane family at low temperature is made.
The Driving Factors:
Among the renewable Energy Technologies like solar, wind, biomass etc., biogas has lowest financial input per kWh energy output. Biogas provides energy and also value added fertilizer, in addition to providing other benefits like better sanitation, cleaner environment with less pollution, less smoke related diseases, better quality of life, etc. Biogas is a decentralized sustainable energy system and fertilizer source. Decentralized energy sources and systems offer an opportunity in supplementing these energy needs. The world wide energy shortage has stimulated international interest in untapped, non depletable sources of energy. Health, sanitation and waste management are some of the social problems that need be addressed if quality of life of rural masses is to be improved. Pollution prevention agencies are attempting to save further ecological strain on the environment. As per published data, the current energy demand in India for nominal GDP of 9% is about 400,000MW whereas potential production capacity is 172,000MW. About 30 35% is further reduced as grid loss while transporting power to rural area. Extensive use of coal is a standing example for global warming and energy demand.
The solution for above man made disaster is to use cracked methane as a renewable energy source.
Technology Status: Large number of feasible renewable energy sources has been explored and technology has been established. Accessible results have been published with respect to catalytically cracking hydrocarbons which has complex molecular structure. Methane and Ethane have simpler molecular structure when compared with elements like Naptha. Few papers have been published in respect of cracking methane. Lowest temperature at which methane upto 90% cracking achieved is 540K. This finding focuses on following problems.
It requires external energy for accelerating cracking.
Catalyst technology for cracking methane still needs development efforts.
Hence, the approach to develop a suitable catalyst is made to focus the research work in this area.
Catalysis is the process in which the rate of a chemical reaction is either increased or decreased by means of chemical substance known as Catalyst.
Positive Catalyst And Negative Catalyst.
Catalysts can be divided in to two main types: Heterogeneous and Homogeneous. Heterogeneous catalyst: Are those which act in different phases then the reactants. Most Heterogeneous catalyst are solid that act on substrates in a liquor gaseous reaction mixture. The total surface area of solid as an important effect on the reaction rate. The smaller the catalyst particle size, the larger the surface area for a given masses of particles. Heterogeneous catalyst are typically Supported which means that the catalyst is dispersed on a second material that enhances the effectiveness or minimizes their cost. Some times the support is merely a surface upon which the catalyst is speed to increase the surface area. Homogeneous catalyst: Function in the same face as the reactants, but the mechanistic principles involved in a in Heterogeneous catalysis are generally applicable. Typically Homogeneous catalysts are dissolved in a solvent with the substrates.