Science des Procédés Céramiques et de Traitements de Surface (SPCTS)


Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Université de Limoges
Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Céramique Industrielle (ENSCI)

To display in English: click on the link below  Site en Français


Sur ce site

Sur le Web du CNRS

Accueil du site > Axes de recherche > Axe 1 "Procédés céramiques" > Laboratoire commun Air Liquide S.A. > Joint laboratory Air Liquide S.A.

Joint laboratory Air Liquide S.A.


Thierry CHARTIER : thierry.chartier


In the coming decades, the production of syngas, especially hydrogen, will become a major strategic issue. Indeed, the price of fossil energy is increasing as a result of limited resources and global geopolitical situation. Hydrogen as energy carrier should see a substantial growth with the development of fuel cells, but also because of the gas-to-liquid synthesis for clean fuels. In this context, we created a joint laboratory in 2005 with the Air Liquide Company whose mission is the development of ceramic materials and systems with the aim to improve existing technologies and develop new technologies for hydrogen production. The joint laboratory activity is focused on three main research axes :


Shaping of catalysts

The industrial steam methane reforming (SMR) process for hydrogen production requires the use of catalytic materials with complex architectures and micro(nano)structures controlled at all scales. Without changing the basic formulations of such catalysts, we work on all the stages of their fabrication process to develop ultradivided materials exhibiting improved activity and stability in operating conditions. To this respect, one major issue is the mechanical and/or chemical anchorage of the active phase.  

Microstructured reactors

  The development of high temperature heat exchangers and catalytic reactors allows in principle both substantial savings as for the size of SMR industrial units and a better energy management. Moreover the high kinetic of such reactors (low contact time of reactants with the catalyst) allows also a better management of side reactions such as coking, fouling or metal dusting. This requires the fabrication of complex ceramic bodies with internal channels whose surfaces are coated with active species.

Catalytic membrane reactors

The developed technology is breaking all the technologies currently used for the reforming of natural gas (CH4). Production of syngas from natural gas is provided by a catalytic membrane reactor based on the oxygen transfer through a material having a mixed conductivity (ionic and electronic) at high temperature (> 700°C) and on the partial oxidation of methane. The materials selected for the fabrication of the reactors are oxides having perovskite structures with a high semi-permeation to oxygen.  

Updated May 25, 2012

© SPCTS - Centre Européen de la Céramique - 12 Rue Atlantis - 87068 LIMOGES Cedex - Tél : 05 87 50 23 03 - Fax : 05 87 50 23 09 - Courriel : spcts