The Development of a N2O Abatement Catalyst: from Laboratory Scale to Plant Testing


Nitrous oxide is a powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential stated to be between 265 and 310. The production of nitric acid is the largest source of nitrous oxide from the chemical process industries, and it equates to circa 50% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from nitric acid production. This paper describes the successful development of a catalyst for the decomposition of nitrous oxide in the ammonia burner, from laboratory, pilot and plant-scale testing. This catalyst is capable of reducing nitrous oxide emissions by more than 90%, with no significant modifications to plant operation.

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The core team for the project included David Waller, Øystein Nirisen, David M. Brackenbury, Arne Øygarden, Camilla Otterlei, Toril Schelderup, Per Ivar Karlsen, Magne Slåen and Klaus Schøffel.

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Correspondence to David Waller.

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Nirisen, Ø., Waller, D. & Brackenbury, D.M. The Development of a N2O Abatement Catalyst: from Laboratory Scale to Plant Testing. Top Catal 62, 1113–1125 (2019).

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  • N2O
  • Nitric acid
  • Emissions
  • Catalyst