High selectivity and activity of catalysts are among the most crucial demands for a successful commercial application. Control over the selectivity and activity can only be achieved through understanding of the behaviour of the catalyst materials using advanced characterisation methods. Over recent decades, great efforts have been devoted to developing methods for catalyst characterisation under real operating conditions, so called in situ or operando conditions. These characterisation tools have proved immensely useful and increasingly popular in industry for the development of new complex and advanced materials for energy, chemistry and environmental technologies.
Anna has given an invited talk at this year’s 12th International Conference on Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation (SRI)
July 2015 in New York. SRI is the annual conference for synchrotron scientists at the forefront of their fields to highlight the most exciting science and technology enabled by the development of cutting-edge instrumentation and methodologies at synchrotron and free-electron laser light sources.
Building on her experience of helping industrial scientists from the UK and abroad, Anna discussed the results from experiments designed to characterise complex catalyst materials, monitor reactions under in situ conditions and the latest tools and techniques available at Diamond for catalysis research
. She also highlighted some of our existing collaborations with industry and options for collaborative catalysis research projects and as a partner for confidential research and development services.
Through collaborative projects, including the CARENA project
, Anna has worked to develop Diamond’s capabilities in catalysis research, in particular developing a microreactor system
which can be used to mimic the reaction conditions experienced by a catalyst under real working conditions. The microreactor can be used on a number of Diamond’s beamlines to provide X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS)
or powder diffraction (XRPD) measurements from samples under in situ
conditions. The microreactor is equipped with a sophisticated system of mass flow controllers and fast switching valves to enable controlled gas mixtures to be flowed across the sample and for these to be varied rapidly. The microreactor is also equipped with a mass spectrometer for monitor exhaust and a heater to enable the sample to reach 900°C, mimic industrial catalysis conditions. Anna also presented a poster giving full details of the microreactor entitled “A Flexible Gas Flow Reaction Cell for in situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS)” at SRI.