Catalysis and Reaction Engineering
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) enhances the performance of catalysts and formulates new catalysts to improve production processes for the chemical and petro-chemical industries. Scientists also address the needs of manufacturers and users of emissions control catalysts. The SwRI staff performs catalysis research and development using its expertise in molecular-based modeling studies, catalytic reaction chemistry, pilot-scale processing, and process modeling.
SwRI conducts bench- and pilot-scale studies in state-of-the-art catalyst laboratories with advanced instrumentation. The Institute also does computational process modeling and molecular simulations of catalytic processes.
Because SwRI neither manufactures nor endorses industrial products, all investigations are impartial. Client confidentiality is also protected. With 10 technical divisions and hundreds of fully equipped laboratories, SwRI uses a multidisciplinary approach to solve problems for major industries and small businesses.
Using its expertise in molecular-based modeling, SwRI studies the sorption, diffusion, selectivity, and energetics of molecules in zeolites and on surfaces. Modeling is a useful screening tool for experimental studies. SwRI capabilities in this field include:
Catalytic Reaction Chemistry
SwRI chemists develop a variety of catalysts and optimize catalytic activity. Bench-scale catalytic reactions are routinely performed under high temperatures and pressures. The staff also detects different chemical species during the catalysis process and studies their interactions with catalyst surfaces. Capabilities in catalytic reaction chemistry include:
SwRI uses a packed-bed pilot plant to accurately simulate industrial conditions for hydrogenation, hydrocracking, and reforming. A supercritical processing pilot plant is also available. SwRI offers:
The results of process modeling for new process proof-of-concept, unit operation selection, debottlenecking, or process improvement can be immediately tested in SwRI pilot plants. The tests use catalysts made at SwRI or use commercial catalysts under conditions prescribed by a process licensor. Process modeling calculations are made in real time to optimize catalyst conditions for particular feeds or conditions of new or existing equipment. The staff:
This brochure was published in December 1995. For more information about catalysis and reaction engineering, contact Dr. Michael A. Miller, Phone (210) 522-2189, Fax (210) 522-5122, Mechanical Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510.