Early-Stage Evaluation of Catalyst Manufacturing Cost and Environmental Impact Using CatCost

Kurt Van Allsburg, Eric Tan, John Super, Joshua Schaidle, Frederick Baddour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus Citations


The costs and environmental impacts of catalyst manufacture are often neglected during early-stage research because of a lack of accessible, standardized tools to assess them. Here we report the key features of CatCost, a free and public estimation tool for the evaluation of catalyst cost. We demonstrate its functionality with a case study of diverse catalysts (ZSM-5, Pt/TiO2 and Mo2C) for the catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass. We quantified the economic and environmental improvements made by replacing circulating-bed ZSM-5 with more stable, fixed-bed Pt/TiO2 and Mo2C catalysts, while revealing the effects of synthesis methods and production scale on catalyst costs. The manufacture of ZSM-5 had a large processing cost contribution that was strongly scale dependent, whereas the costs of the other catalysts were dominated by raw materials at all scales. Furthermore, while ZSM-5 costs the least per kilogram, the more stable catalysts cost half as much per gallon of fuel. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)342-353
Number of pages12
JournalNature Catalysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-75030


  • catalysis
  • catalyst
  • catalyst cost
  • TCPL
  • techno-economic analysis


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