Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 157–170 | Cite as

Experimental approach for identifying hotspots in lab-scale fixed-bed reactors exemplified by the Sabatier reaction

  • Dennis Beierlein
  • Steffen Schirrmeister
  • Yvonne Traa
  • Elias Klemm


Isothermal conditions are a prerequisite for the accurate determination of kinetics in heterogeneous catalysis. In this work, an integral fixed-bed lab reactor with 5 mm inner diameter placed inside an aluminum heating block is used. Temperature profiles were recorded with a single but axially movable thermocouple in a fixed bed of a highly loaded supported Ni catalyst (15.4 wt% Ni on γ-Al2O3) for the Sabatier reaction, i.e., the methanation of CO2, under elevated pressures and without carrier gas dilution. The corresponding conversions of CO2 were determined at the reactor outlet. Depending on the reaction conditions, temperature profiles can show significant deviations from isothermal conditions and even a light-off phenomenon with fluctuating conversions seems to occur. Based on our results, an experimental approach based on the use of one single thermocouple in the fixed bed is recommended which allows to exclude the occurrence of hotspots with a high degree of certainty.


Sabatier reaction Kinetic measurements Isothermal fixed bed Hotspots Light-off phenomenon 



The authors thank Mirko Peifer, Dr. Thomas Schwarz and Prof. Dr. Klaus Stöwe for providing the catalyst. This work was supported by ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions TKIS.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Beierlein
    • 1
  • Steffen Schirrmeister
    • 2
  • Yvonne Traa
    • 1
  • Elias Klemm
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Chemical TechnologyUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AGDortmundGermany

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