Methanol synthesis is the formation of methanol from: 

  • Carbon oxides and hydrogen mixtures arising from steam reforming
  • The gasification of traditional or sustainable feedstocks, such as natural gas, coal, biomass and municipal waste; or
  • The hydrogenation of industrial off-gas or directly from captured CO₂

The KATALCO™ 51-series of methanol synthesis catalysts are key to the methanol technologies offered by Johnson Matthey. KATALCO 51-1, and the low pressure methanol (LPM) process revolutionised synthetic methanol production in the 1960’s, and has been the corner stone of the majority of world’s production ever since.   

For over 55 years, since the initial development of KATALCO 51-1, Johnson Matthey has continued to develop this series of catalyst, improving performance in terms of activity, by-product production, strength, shrinkage and overall catalyst life.  Today our range includes KATALCO 51-7, 51-8 and 51-9 which have been developed for different reactor designs and duties. KATALCO 51-102 is our premier methanol synthesis catalyst now available to the methanol market, a step change in methanol synthesis catalysts, offering unparalleled activity, selectivity and stability.  

Our methanol synthesis catalysts have been installed in some of the world’s largest methanol plants to date, offering methanol producers excellent performance, stability and reliability and resulting in higher plant efficiency. Simply stated our newest offering KATALCO 51-102 will make the most methanol with less feedstock, give longest life, with superior selectivity towards methanol formation and suppressing the formation of by-products.

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Johnson Matthey's Methanol team

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