Catalysts used in industry often contain metal oxides of cobalt, nickel and copper where the final step in the manufacturing process of the catalyst involves the reduction of the metal oxide with hydrogen. The resulting catalysts are widely used in the chemical process industry for the production of base chemicals and energy carriers.
The catalytic reduction of metal oxides with hydrogen is a very complex process where transient particle-scale and reactor-scale phenomena (transport and chemical reaction) and their mutual interplay prevail. These processes are unfortunately poorly understood and hamper the optimal design of metal (nickel) oxide reduction reactors. Consequently, multi-scale reactor models will be developed and experimentally validated using data from pilot scale reduction reactors. Finally, the validated model will be used to assess the optimal reaction conditions for the reduction of metal (nickel) oxides with hydrogen in fixed bed catalytic reactors.