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Catalytic Oxygen Removal

Efficient Purification

Some industrial gas processes require oxygen removal (Deoxo) to meet gas purity specifications or to protect downstream equipment. For over a decade Research Catalysts has been designing reactors for oxygen removal from gas and supplying the material used within.

There are two main mechanistic routes of oxygen removal our products support - catalytic oxidation and chemisorption of oxygen. The optimal approach to an Oxygen removal application depends on the desired purity, scale, gas conditions, and gas composition. 

Multiple Steel Reactors inside a Production Plant

Oxygen Removal via Catalytic Oxidation

Catalytic oxidation entails catalyzing the reaction between Oxygen and a combustible to form primarily CO2 and/or water. With the proper conditions, this combustion reaction can consume oxygen to levels below 1 part per million by volume. Our precious metal OxiGone catalysts have a high activity for catalyzing these reactions. 

The following are some of the advantages precious metal catalysts bring to oxygen removal applications:

  • Stability and Durability: When operating within the recommended conditions high-quality precious metal catalysts exhibit robust resistance to deterioration, maintaining their catalytic activity and performance for many years. This longevity translates into reduced downtime, lower maintenance costs, and improved process efficiency.

  • Energy and Cost Efficiency: In some cases it is possible to maintain a sufficient reactor temperature without running an auxiliary heater. This can be accomplished with a heat exchanger or even by the exotherm generated by the reaction itself. With no moving parts, a long catalyst lifetime, and limited need for additional heating, operating expenses can be minimal.​


Oxygen Removal via Chemisorption

Inert gas frame glovebox in laboratory.jpg

In some cases, such as purification to an inert atmosphere, the incoming gas stream may have few or no combustible compounds. Although this could be circumvented with the addition of combustibles to the gas, that is not always the best option.


Alternatively, its possible to utilize chemisorption onto Copper to achieve deep removal of Oxygen. This reaction transforms the Copper to Copper Oxide (CuO), effectively removing the Oxygen from the gas. Eventually after most of the Copper has been converted to Copper Oxide, there will not be enough reduced Copper active sites left to meet the desired conversion. At this point, the catalyst bed will have to be regenerated with a gas containing a reducing agent (usually H2 in N2) to transform the CuO back to its reduced state. 

 Our copper catalysts for oxygen removal operate by this principle and see widespread use in laboratory glove boxes.

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