The use of cobalt catalysts in catalytic applications supports climate change initiatives by contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases. For example, petrol or diesel for cars can only be sold after it has been refined with cobalt catalysts, which contain cobalt compounds that effectively reduce sulphur and nitrous oxide emissions. These cobalt catalysts play a vital role in mitigating environmental harm and improving air quality.

Cleaning fuel

All crude oils contain between 0.1% and 2.5% of sulphur dependant on their source of origin. Upon combustion, the sulphur from these crude oils is converted into sulphur oxides – an air pollutant that can dissolve in rainwater creating acid rain which damages crops, forests and aquatic species.

Cobalt plays a vital role in catalysing the removal of sulphur from oil, contributing to a more sustainable society. Desulphurisation is the process by which sulphur is removed from oil. A significant use of cobalt globally is as part of catalysts in this desulphurisation process. The use of cobalt in desulphurisation reactions represents the highest tonnage of cobalt use in the catalyst sector.

CoMOX Catalysts

By using a cobalt oxide-molybdenum oxide catalyst (CoMOX), the sulphur can be converted into hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

The H2S can then be converted into either elemental sulphur or into sulphuric acid (H2SO4), which is then used for other industrial processes. CoMOX catalysts contain 3-5% tricobalt tetraoxide (Co3O4), 14% molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) and 83-85% alumina (Al2O3). As CoMOX catalysts are very resistant to poisoning and degradation they are the ideal choice for use in desulphurisation reactions.

Other Applications

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