A unique collaboration between catalyst researchers from Albemarle Corporation, Delft University of Technology, Haldor Topsoe, FEI Company and Leiden Probe Microscopy has led to an innovative new method for studying catalyst dynamics under actual operating conditions.
The process uses a technique called high-resolution electron microscopy to monitor changes in the catalyst structure during the catalytic process. Unlike conventional electron microscopy, which has considerable pressure and temperature limitations, this new technique allows scientists to view these reactions under real-life conditions.
"This breakthrough technology allows us to monitor actual catalyst behavior in a manner that simply was not possible before," said Bart Nelissen, global analytical director for Albemarle. "These new insights will ultimately allow us to manufacture more value-added catalysts to meet the specific needs of our refinery customers."
"This significant breakthrough is a perfect example of how collaboration pushes innovation," said Edwin Berends, vice president of Albemarle's Catalyst Solutions Research and Technology group. "By bringing together the brightest catalyst researchers from both industry and academia, we have greatly accelerated research advances that benefit the entire field of catalysis."
This collaborative initiative, which is referred to as NIMIC (Nano-IMaging under Industrial Conditions), was commissioned by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the SenterNovem to promote and support novel, atomic-scale research in physical, chemical and biological processes.