Carbon dioxide, emitted mainly by combustion of fossil fuels, is harmful to the climate and the main reason for increased global warming. Diverting carbon dioxide into hydrogen carriers or chemicals such as methanol, a valuable raw material and energy carrier, is thus highly desired. Supported metal nanoparticle heterogeneous catalysts such as copper on zinc oxide is used for the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol. Researchers have now discovered that it is possible to avoid by-products and at the same time make the process more sustainable by adding a small amount of gold to the catalyst.
To sever society’s tether from fossil fuels, the development of more efficient catalysts for renewable energy production is a recognized, key step. On surfaces covered by 2D materials, a more detailed picture of the reaction process will greatly enhance our understanding, according to a recent study in ACS Catalysis. Researchers in Sweden have observed the effects of hydrogen and other gas combinations on 2D material graphene during undercover reactions using ambient-pressure XPS at MAX IV’s HIPPIE beamline.
The winner of the Student Science Award was announced at the 34th MAX IV User Meeting held in early October. User Meeting organizers and a team of three external adjudicators awarded the student submission based upon the criteria: research quality and potential impact. This year’s Student Award recipient is Harald Wallander for his research on characterizing ultra-thin materials during catalytic action.
To understand the electrochemical potential of lithium-ion batteries, it’s important to decipher the chemical processes at electrode interfaces occurring during device activity. Using HIPPIE beamline, a research group investigated and modelled the influence of electrochemical potential differences in operando in these batteries.
How does one learn more about the characteristics of the Martian atmospheric chemistry and climate system while seated 56 million plus kilometres away? Using MAX IV’s HIPPIE beamline, an international research group studied the surface solvation of salts from Earth’s Qaidam Basin, which bear close resemblance to Martian salts and how these influence the respective planet’s surface. The work also establishes the feasibility of the APXPS technique for future studies with Martian salts.
One of the key challenges in catalysis research is to understand how catalysts’ structure and function relate to each other. Regardless of the type of catalyst in question, structure and function are dynamic with a strong dependence on the localized reaction conditions such as temperature, pressure, and gas composition just above the catalyst surface. Now, researchers developed a new event-averaging-based method employing time-resolved ambient pressure photoelectron spectroscopy to map catalyst structure and local gas environment simultaneously while reaction conditions change rapidly.
In a new publication in Nature Communications, a team from the Dutch company Syngaschem BV and the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research elucidates for the first time some aspects of the Fischer-Tropsch reaction, used for converting synthesis gas into synthetic fuels. Analysis performed at the HIPPIE beamline at MAX IV was instrumental to achieving these results.