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Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT)

Karlsruher Institute of Technology (KIT)
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen

Contakt / Office

Fon: +49 721 608-22401
Fax: +49 721 608-22244
officeIzp0∂ikft kit edu

Head of Institute - Speaker
Jörg Sauer

Prof. Dr-Ing. Jörg Sauer

Fon: +49 721 608-22401

Head of Institute
Felix Studt

Prof. Dr. Felix Studt

Fon: +49 721 608-28663

Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology (IKFT)

The Institute of Catalysis Research and Technology was founded 2011. Its mission is to bridge the gap between fundamental and applied research and the development of new technologies and products in the field of catalysis and process technology of catalyzed processes. The focus of our work is the sustainable utilization of alternative feedstocks and their conversion into energy carriers intermediates. This includes the development of new catalytic systems based on a fundamental understanding of processes on a molecular level.



16.12.201914:00 Lecture (B727 Kolloquiumsraum):
Dr. Bernhard Schäfer, IKFT
EE4InG - Begleitforschung des Forschungsnetzwerks Energie in Industrie und Gewerbe


Nanosized transition metal particles are privileged materials in catalysis with a key role not only in academic research but also in many processes with industrial and societal relevance. This article presents a short overview of the current state-of-the-art of tailor-made transition metal nanoparticles, operando characterization, and their understanding using theoretical tools for their application in catalysis. Although small improvements in catalytic properties can lead to significant economic and environmental impact, it is only now that knowledge-based design of such materials is emerging. [Sharapa, D. I.; Doronkin, D. E.; Studt, F.; Grunwaldt, J. D.; Behrens, S., Adv. Mater. 2019, 31 (26), e1807381.]
The single-step syngas-to-dimethyl ether (STD) process entails economic and technical advantages over the current industrial two-step process. Recently, Pd/ZnO-based catalysts have emerged as an interesting alternative to the currently used Cu/ZnO/γ-Al2O3 catalysts, but the nature of the active center(s), the reaction mechanism and the role of Pd and ZnO in the solid catalyst are not well established. In order to prepare bifunctional Pd/ZnO/γ-Al2O3 STD catalysts, 2 nm size, Pd nanoparticles were employed as defined building units for the methanol active component and immobilized on γ-Al2O3. In the following study, the catalysts were investigated by ex situ structural characterization and catalyst tests in combination with operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy and DFT calculations. Due to the improved catalyst stability and longevity as well as the high selectivity to dimethyl ether, these Pd/ZnO/γ-Al2O3 catalysts represent an interesting alternative to conventional Cu/ZnO/γ-Al2O3 catalysts. [Gentzen, M.; Doronkin, D. E.; Sheppard, T. L.; Zimina, A.; Li, H.; Jelic, J.; Studt, F.; Grunwaldt, J. D.; Sauer, J.; Behrens, S., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2019, 58 (44), 15655-15659.]
Interfaces play an important role in heterogeneous catalysis where oxides are typically used as supports to stabilize catalytically active transition metal particles. In a recent investigation, numerous metal-oxide interfaces were studied using DFT. For a given oxide, variations in adhesion energies with different metals can be described by the adsorption energy of atomic oxygen on the corresponding metal surfaces, thus forming scaling relations similar to those used for adsorbates on metal surfaces. Variations between different oxides can be analyzed through the number of interfacial oxygen atoms that form metal-oxygen bonds. [Dietze, E. M.; Plessow, P. N., J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123 (33), 20443-20450.]