The next issue of Science will report a study that explains the mechanism for oxygen release by cerium oxide. This material is an important catalyst that favors many fundamental reactions that have profound implications for energy storage and environmental issues. These reactions include, for example, the purification of polluted gases and the production of hydrogen as new energy vector for fuel cells. The present study could inspire the design of new efficient catalysts for producing a large variety of goods, e.g. plastic materials, fuels, fertilizers and drugs.
The mechanism of oxygen release was analyzed and described by studying the surfaces of cerium oxide (ceria). “Ceria-based materials are oxygen buffers, materials that allow to efficiently store or release oxygen, thus favoring a high catalytic activity and inducing a set of chemical reactions which would otherwise require higher pressures and temperatures” says Friedrich Esch (Laboratorio TASC INFM-CNR). “The production of more efficient catalysts is therefore of paramount importance for saving energy, increasing the safety of industrial processes, and reducing the environmental impact.”
Presently, most of the industrial processes employ heterogeneous catalysts, i.e. devices that are in a phase (solid), different from the one of the reactants (gases): “A typical example are exhaust catalysts capable of purifying the combustion gases” explains Stefano Fabris (National Simulation Center DEMOCRITOS INFM-CNR and SISSA). Most of the recent research has focused on the energy production from alternative sources, on the reduction of the environmental impact, and on the energy storage. To pursue these important objectives, new and more efficient catalysts are needed. “The design and production of these catalysts is clearly a priority issue and ceria-based materials are attracting a great deal of attention by the most advanced laboratories” says Paolo Fornasiero (Department of Chemistry at the University of Trieste, and INSTM).
Mauro Scanu | alfa
Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences