4th April 2017

In the framework of the TCCM project (ITN-EJD-TCCM), Ewa Szlapa and Jelle Vekeman, two doctoral students from the project currently doing their research stay at AlyaTech, visited several industrial plants of Carburos Metálicos in Tarragona, Spain. They were accompanied by Dr. Lourdes F. Vega (CEO AlyaTech) and Mr. José Luis Méndez (Chief of Operations Carburos Metálicos, Air Products group). The purpose of the visit, organized by AlyaTech as part of the training of the students, was to show them, first-hand, where the catalytic materials they are modeling are used in practice, at industrial scale, and what are the main requirements for them.

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Ewa and Jelle were introduced to the large-scale processes for production of gases:

  • The HYCO plant: producing high purity hydrogen and carbon dioxide from natural gas source. Most of the produced hydrogen is used in the refinery while the CO2 is captured, separated and prepared for different industrial applications.
  • Air Separation Plant: it produces nitrogen, oxygen and argon from air by cryogenic distillation, all of them used in different applications.
  • Production of nitrous oxide, which is used in hospitals for anesthesia.

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After the visit to the different plants we shared a lunch with the Carburos team, where Ewa and Jelle raised further questions and had the opportunity to learn from AlyaTech and Carburos, the industrial needs of adsorbent and calatytic materials.

In summary, the trip was very enlightening and practical. We thank the team at Carburos Metálicos, José Luis Méndez (Chief of Operations), Victor Cano (HyCO & CO2 Plant Manager) and Juan Ramon Feced (El Morell Plant Director) for sharing their experience and for the time they devoted to the visit.

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