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Reactor study for catalytic dehydrogenation of perhydro-N-Alkylcarbazoles for H2 storage application

ABG-123866 Thesis topic
2024-05-14 Other public funding
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Laboratoire d'Automatique, de Génie des Procédés et de Génie Pharmaceutique (CNRS UCBL UMR5007)
- Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - France
Reactor study for catalytic dehydrogenation of perhydro-N-Alkylcarbazoles for H2 storage application
  • Process engineering
Chemical engineering, LOHC, Hydrogen storage, catalytic reactor, hydrodynamics

Topic description


Today, hydrogen appears to be a key energy vector for sustainable and future process development in the world: it is expected to be a means of storing and transporting renewable energy.

However, its transport and storage remain problematic due to its explosiveness and its low molecular density. A possible alternative to gaseous storage under pressure, liquid or in the form of metal hydrides is chemical storage in the form of hydrogenated organic compounds (LOHC: Liquid Organic Liquid Carrier). Thanks to the high mass and volume density of hydrogenated compounds (5 – 8 wt%, 50-70 gH2/L) and their stability under ambient conditions, it is possible to transport and store them at atmospheric pressure and room temperature in existing oil tanks and means of transportation without leakage of molecules or heat loss, as well as to be an economical solution. The process idea is to store H2 by catalytic reversible exothermic hydrogenation (HYD) of H2-lean (H0-LOHC) molecules at moderate temperature and high pressure (30 bar, 180°C, ΔrH°= - 50,5 kJ/molH2) while endothermic dehydrogenation (DH) on H2-rich (Hx-LOHC) molecules takes place at moderate pressure and higher temperature ((2-3 bar, 200°C, ΔrH°=50,5 kJ/molH2).

The objectives of the French ANR RID-LOHC project are to study and design reactors suitable for hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions on mixtures of N-ethyl and N-propyl-carbazole (NEC+NPC). The project tasks include the steps necessary to achieve these objectives, which are kinetic studies of the reactions, measurements of thermodynamic properties, design, optimisation and construction of reactors. To carry out this study, three academic laboratories and an industrial partner are collaborating.

PhD problematic:

The PhD student will work on the study of the dehydrogenation reaction of perhydro-N-alkylcarbazoles and the study and design of reactors adapted to the constraints of the reaction as part of the ANR RID LOHC project. The thesis will follow the following scientific programme

- Carry out a complete bibliographical study of the selected molecules.

- Carry out experimental tests to study the dehydrogenation kinetics of a mixture of perhydro-N-alkylcarbazoles in a fixed bed reactor in order to collect experimental data under different conditions of temperature, pressure and flow rate. Establish the kinetic model for the dehydrogenation of the mixture of interest and estimate the kinetic parameters of interest.

- Participate in the design of the dehydrogenation reactor with the industrial partner based on the experimental data.

- Experimentally measure the hydrodynamic and catalytic performances of the designed reactors and model their dynamic behaviour in order to assess any limitations on heat/material transfer, but also the hydrodynamic behaviour of the phases.

Starting date


Funding category

Other public funding

Funding further details

Contrat sur projet ANR financé

Presentation of host institution and host laboratory

Laboratoire d'Automatique, de Génie des Procédés et de Génie Pharmaceutique (CNRS UCBL UMR5007)

The Laboratory of Automatic Control, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering (University Claude Bernard de Lyon/CNRS) is a multidisciplinary laboratory that covers the fields of process engineering, automation, engineering products, pharmaceutical engineering and physicochemistry. The objective of the laboratory is to conduct cross-cutting research projects involving researchers from different disciplinary fields while ensuring the maintenance of high-level scientific work and experimentation in each disciplinary field. The research activities of this PhD project will be conducted by chemical engineers from two research teams, located at Villeurbanne (Lyon): DYCOP (Dynamics, Control and Observation of Processes) and PRODIS (Processes in Dispersed Media). The chemical engineers involved in the project are specialised in the implementation of dynamic phenomena and the study and modelling of dynamic behaviour of heat transfer and phase change. They are well-known in the topic of LOHC and catalytic reactors.

PhD title

Doctorat de Chimie de Lyon, option Procédés

Country where you obtained your PhD


Institution awarding doctoral degree


Graduate school

École Doctorale de chimie (chimie, procédés, environnement)

Candidate's profile

Master or Engineer in chemical engineering. Interest in reactor experimentation and modelling. Skills in at least Python or Matlab. Fluency in French (desirable).

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