Research news: Defects make catalysts perfect

A recent published Science article reports about insights into the process which converts carbon dioxide into methanol.

An international team, including chemists from the Fritz Haber Institute […] established that defects in an as yet unknown combination with mixing of copper and zinc oxide at the catalyst’s surface are the reason why the catalysts are so active. These findings could make a contribution to further improving the catalyst, and also help researchers develop catalysts that convert pure carbon dioxide efficiently. These could be used to recycle the greenhouse gas that is produced when fossil fuels burn.” (MPG research news)

Original publication:
Malte Behrens, Felix Studt, Igor Kasatkin, Stefanie Kühl, Michael Hävecker, Frank Abild-Pedersen, Stefan Zander, Frank Girgsdies, Patrick Kurr, Benjamin-Louis Kniep, Michael Tovar, Richard W. Fischer, Jens K. Nørskov, Robert Schlögl: The Active Site of Methanol Synthesis over Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 Industrial Catalysts
ScienceExpress, 19 April 2012; doi: 10.1126/science.1219831 [pdf only for subscribers]

More Science articles by FHI authors:

  • Zhao, B.S., Meijer, G., Schöllkopf, W.: Quantum reflection of He2 several nanometers above a grating surface. Science, 331, 6019, pp. 892-894 (2011); doi: 10.1126/science.1200911 [only for subscribers]
  • Bostwick, A., Speck, F., Seyller, T., Horn, K., Polini, M., Asgari, R., MacDonald, A.H., Rotenberg, E.: Observation of plasmarons in quasi-freestanding doped graphene. Science, 328, 5981, pp. 999-1002 (2010); doi: 10.1126/science.1186489 [only for subscribers]
  • Lei, Y., Mehmood, F., Lee, S., Greeley, J., Lee, B., Seifert, S., Winansl, R.E., Elám, W., Meyer, R.J., Redfern, P.C., Teschner, D., Schlögl, R., Pellin, M.J., Curtiss, L.A., Vajda, S.: Increased silver activity for direct propylene epoxidation via subnanometer size effects. Science, 328, 5975, pp. 224-228 (2010); doi: 10.1126/science.1185200 [only for subscribers]