We have a strong background in chemistry, catalysis, spectroscopy and analytics, which we use to elucidate reaction networks and mechanisms with the aim to develop novel catalysts. With this competence we have broadened in recent years our activities from exhaust gas catalysis towards catalyst development for energy conversion processes in general to support the research activities of the Bioenergy and Catalysis Laboratory (LBK), of the Energy and Environment Research Division (ENE) and of other groups within and outside PSI. Some of our core activities are described in the flyer of ENE.
Catalysts and processes
We are conducting research and development projects on different aspects of the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) process for NOx reduction in mobile and stationary Diesel engines. We have experience with V2O5/WO3-TiO2, iron- and copper-exchanged zeolites as well as rare earth metal oxides and are interested to explore the effect of various exhaust components on SCR, such as hydrocarbons and formaldehyde on the production of noxious products. We are also equipped to determine V-emissions of V-based catalysts.
We are also active in studying N2O decomposition and the combined SCR of N2O and NOx in view of the current worldwide interest on engines fueled by NH3 for example for maritime applications.
Our experience with environmental catalysis stretches to oxidation catalysts and in particular to methane oxidation under lean and stoichiometric conditions. We have developed a reactor to study three-way catalysts under oscillating conditions for natural gas applications and demonstrated that intentional oscillations in feed composition enhance methane and NOx conversion.
Beside environmental catalysis, we also carry out projects on
In situ and operando characterization
We are an experienced group in operando analysis of catalysts and functional materials in gas and liquid environments. We operate within the Center for Operando Spectroscopy Studies of PSI.
Our multitechnique approach is based on the repetition of the very same experiment with a number of techniques, from lab scale benchtop to synchrotron based methods. We use IR, Raman and UV-vis spectroscopies as well as x-ray diffraction, x-ray absorption and emission spectroscopies to obtain complementary information on the material structure and the adsorbates under reaction conditions. This means that we seek to use the same setup and the same spectroscopy cell, where sample environment allows. Thus, we also develop spectroscopy and diffraction capabilities (cells, modulation experiments, time-resolved experiments, etc.).
Our experiments exploit transients and time resolution of modern spectroscopy/diffraction methods. To this end we make systematic use of modulated excitation coupled to phase sensitive detection or chemometrics to enhance our perception of structural changes, going beyond what is attainable with classic approaches.
We have organized the 7th International Congress on Operando Spectroscopy - Operando VII in Grindelwald, Switzerland
In the past years we have cooperated with numerous companies worldwide in the field of environmental catalysis: ABB, Abgaszentrum der Deutschen Automobilindustrie (ADA), Alantum, Alstom, Alzchem, AVL, BASF, SKW Piesteritz, Agrolinz Melamine International, Casale, Caterpillar, ClearEdge, Cristal Global, Daimler, Ecocat, Emitec, erphi electronic, Ceram, Grundfos, Hilite, IMI Vision, Interkat, IVECO, Kemira, Liebherr, MAN, Wacker, Fuchs Lubricants, Ciba Speciality Chemicals, Yara, MEL Chemicals, MTU, Rhodia, S&B Industrial Minerals, Süd-Chemie, Swenox, Tenneco, Umicore, Volkswagen, Zeochem, Treibacher Industrie, Hug Engineering and FPT.
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