Catalysis and Chemistry

The ESRF is helping the chemical industry find more efficient and environmentally compatible processes for the manufacture of materials

Heterogeneous catalysis controls about 90% of the world’s chemical manufacturing processes, yet fundamental chemical and physical mechanisms are often not completely understood and its study remains largely empirical.
Synchrotron techniques at the ESRF offer unique opportunities to understand the behaviour of catalytic systems.
X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy provides information about the chemical bonds surrounding an absorbing atom, for instance, while qualitative and quantitative measurements during catalysis are possible at millisecond time resolution across all concentration ranges.

• Analyse the shape, size and density of nanoparticles.

• Obtain 3D images of matrices and detect trace elements at high resolution.

• Determine quantitative oxidation states of species at ultra-dilute concentration.

• Study catalytic reactions such as the methanol-to-olefin process in situ and operando at extreme conditions and short timescales.

• Probe reaction intermediates.

• Characterise working batteries and fuel cells.

• Analyse the shape, size and density of particles.