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3D-cat is a spin out venture from Dutch technology institute ECN (part of TNO)

3D-cat intends to produce and market Chemical Processing Units (CPU’s), tailor-made and optimized catalyst and sorbent reactor elements and mini‐reactors to replace current systems, such as those with loose catalytic materials, resulting in smaller plants at much lower cost.

In the conversion industries, there is an increased focus on catalysis and sorption, to make the petrochemical industry more efficient and sustainable through i) faster and better reaction conversions at more modest conditions, ii) smaller plant footprint and investment, iii) integration of chemical conversion and heating/cooling functions, and iv) better off-gas treatment of power plants.

The advantages of using 3D ceramic additive manufacturing technology in the fields of catalysis and sorption are optimal spatial design of catalyst or sorbent (for better operational hydraulics), optimal coverage of active components (e.g. metal thickness and spatial distribution), optionality of built‐in heating/cooling channels, and a very low waste production process of the reactor elements themselves. As a consequence of these, conversion reactors will be (much) smaller, which in turn will lead to much lower plant investment. In addition, the optimal design will lead to better conversion rates, which will result in higher efficiency and less waste. Finally, heating and cooling is expected to be more direct, thereby resulting in lower energy consumption per conversion amount.

This technology application not only has the potential to significantly reduce conversion cost per ton or m3, but as a consequence also to enable companies to (re‐) invest again in the European conversion industry.

As from 1 April 2018, ECN is part of TNO. A part of ECN continues as NRG.