Cover Picture: Impact of Daily Startup–Shutdown Conditions on the Production of Solar Methanol over a Commercial Cu–ZnO–Al2O3 Catalyst (Energy Technol. 5/2016) (page 559)
Dr. Uri Ash-Kurlander, Oliver Martin, Luca D. Fontana, Vikas R. Patil, Men Bernegger, Dr. Cecilia Mondelli, Prof. Javier Pérez-Ramírez and Prof. Aldo Steinfeld
Version of Record online: 30 MAR 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ente.201600188
From solar syngas to methanol: The sustainability of liquid fuel production like methanol would be greatly enhanced if the syngas feedstock was obtained from the renewably-powered splitting of H2O and the greenhouse gas CO2 rather than from the steam reforming of fossil fuels. In this context, a promising technology comprises the use of solar radiation. However, the limited and unsteady availability of sunlight, as illustrated on the cover, determines an intermittent syngas supply and fluctuations in its composition. As industrial methanol synthesis catalysts are typically operated under steady-state conditions for several years, the authors investigated the impact of a daily startup-shutdown procedure and of syngas feeds containing variable amounts of CO and CO2 on the catalytic properties of a commercial Cu–ZnO–Al2O3 catalyst. They uncovered that the activity, selectivity, and time-on-stream behavior of the ternary system can be retained depending on the gas atmosphere applied upon the startup–shutdown steps. Based on the structure-performance relations derived, they put forward guidelines for the design of improved catalysts. More details can be found in the Full Paper by Javier Pérez-Ramírez and Aldo Steinfeld et al. from ETH Zurich on page 565 in Issue 5, 2016 (DOI: 10.1002/ente.201600022).