CO2 methanation - Case Study

CO2 methanation – Catalytic Applications with Gas Chromatography

Carbon dioxide (CO2) methanation represents a promising approach towards mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by converting CO2 into methane (CH4), a valuable energy carrier and precursor for various industrial processes. This chemical transformation involves complex interactions between CO2, hydrogen (H2), and catalyst materials under specific temperature and pressure conditions. Monitoring the progress of CO2 methanation in real-time is critical for optimizing reaction parameters, improving catalyst performance, and maximizing methane production efficiency. Gas Chromatography (GC) has become indispensable in this regard, offering precise and sensitive analysis of gas-phase components present in the reaction mixture.


Online Analysis in CO2 Methanation

Gas Chromatography can be used for online analysis to continuously monitor the concentrations of CO2, CH4, H2, and potentially other gas-phase species such as water vapor (H2O) and carbon monoxide (CO). The setup typically involves sampling the reactor effluent at regular intervals using an automated sampling system, followed by injection into the GC system for separation and detection. Advanced techniques such as multi-dimensional GC or GC coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) may also be utilized for enhanced separation and identification of trace components.


Applications and Benefits:


Real-time Monitoring:

  • Enables continuous measurement of reaction kinetics and product distributions, facilitating immediate adjustments to reaction conditions.

Quantitative Analysis:

  • Provides accurate quantification of CO2 conversion, methane selectivity, and other reaction parameters crucial for process optimization.

Catalyst Evaluation:

  • Evaluates catalyst stability and performance under dynamic reaction conditions, aiding in the development of efficient CO2 methanation catalysts.

Process Control:

  • Facilitates fine-tuning of operational parameters such as temperature, pressure, and feed composition to maximize methane yield and minimize energy consumption.


Customer Case Example

In the following example, SCION Instruments worked with our customer to provide a Gas Chromatography based analytical tool for online monitoring and analysis of CO2 methanation processes. By leveraging the SCION GC’s capabilities, it is possible to optimize reaction conditions, enhance catalyst performance, and improve overall process efficiency.



The SCION GC is used to perform online analysis of the methanation reaction. The quantification of H2 will be done on a first TCD. A second TCD will be dedicated to the reaction gases (CO2, CO, CH4). An FID will be used for the analysis of organic products from potential side reactions (light hydrocarbon, light alcohol, formic acid).

The results obtained from the SCION GC analysis provide the total areas of each constituent. These total areas serve as quantitative measures of the amounts of each compound produced during the reaction.

By comparing the total areas of the starting material (CO2 and H2) with those of the desired product (CH4) and any undesired by-products, they can calculate subsequently the conversion, selectivity, and turnover frequency of the reaction.

These calculations provide valuable insights into the efficiency and performance of the catalyst system, allowing for optimization and improvement of the reaction conditions to enhance product yield and selectivity.

System Configuration

CO2 Methanation :

SCION 8500-GC 3 channels

1st channel : GSV, two columns Molsieve 5A & Hayesep Q and TCD à H2 determination

2nd channel : GSV, two columns Porapak R and TCD à CO, CH4 and CO2 determination

3rd channel : GSV, column apolar SCION-1 and FID à hydrocarbons determination

Software : CompassCDS

Download case study- CO2 methanation


Whether you are a researcher, a process engineer, or an industry professional, you will gain valuable knowledge to advance your understanding and application of catalysts using gas chromatography. Take a look at our additional case studies:

Toluene hydrogenation – Case Study 

Propane Aromatization – Case Study

Ammonia synthesis – Case Study

Toluene Methanolation – Case Study