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The industrial production of sulfuric acid involves the oxidation of sulfur dioxide, which is catalyzed by a silica-supported phase consisting of V2O5 species dissolved in a pyrosulfate melt with Na, K and Cs added as promoters. As the molten phase is only present during the catalytic reaction and solidifies at room temperature, in situ studies are necessary to address the working state of the SO2 oxidation catalyst. In an industrial converter, the catalyst environment is dependent on the position along the reactor. In particular, lower reactor beds exhibit a higher SO3/SO2 ratio. Due to the harsh corrosive environment in presence of SO3, and the tendency of SO3 to form sulfuric acid in presence of water, a direct investigation of the catalyst in lower-bed conditions has not been attempted so far.

The Project:

We use operando Raman spectroscopy to correlate the chemical state of industrial and model vanadia-based SO2 oxidation catalysts with different promoters and the level of feed preconversion.

Your Topsøe supervisor:

Pablo Beato,

Søren Brik Rasmussen,

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Haldor Topsøe


Hanne Falsig


Research Scientist




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Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

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