Low temperature oxidation of carbon monoxide on Co/ZrO2 catalysts

Catalytic conversion of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide.

The Need

Air pollution is a serious global problem and has received a great deal of attention over the last few decades. Industrial plants and automobiles release a significant amount of pollution into the atmosphere, principally in the form of unburned or partially burned fossil fuels, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. High demand for air purification methods to remove these pollutants is driving researchers to develop more efficient and cost effective methods to separate toxic components from gaseous waste streams. Furthermore, fuel cells require extremely pure streams of hydrogen, which often contain above optimal CO concentrations. A method to reduce this amount of concentration stands to increase the viabilitiy of hydrogen fuel cells as an alternate means of energy generation.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Umit Ozkan, have developed a system and method to effectively remove CO from gaseous streams at minimal costs. This easy and efficient method feeds a gaseous stream containing CO, along with oxygen, to an oxidation catalyst. The catalyst oxidizes the CO to CO2. In order to use hydrogen streams to power fuel cells, CO concentrations must be reduced to <10 ppm. To achieve this requirement, a catalyst able to selectively oxidize CO to CO2 with extremely high selectivity has been developed. This catalyst has great potential to be used for CO removal from H2 streams and removal of CO from lean exhaust and enclosed areas such as underground coal mines.

Commercial Applications

  • Car exhaust purification
  • Industrial plant exhaust purification
  • Hydrogen gas purification


  • Cost effective
  • Simple fabrication


Patent # Title Country
8226918 Novel Catalyst Systems and Uses Thereof United States of America

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