Shining X-rays on catalysts at work

Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Structure-performance relationships gained by studying catalysts at work are considered the key to further development of catalysts underlined here by a brief overview on our research in this area. The partial oxidation of methane to hydrogen and carbon monoxide over Pt- and Rh-based catalysts and the total combustion of hydrocarbons demonstrate the importance of structural identification of catalysts in its working state and the measurement of the catalytic performance at the same time. Moreover, proper cell design is a key both here and in liquid phase reactions including preparation or high pressure reactions. In several cases structural changes during preparation, activation and reaction occur on a subminute scale or the catalyst structure varies inside a reactor as a result of temperature or concentration gradients. This, additionally, requires time and spatial resolution. Examples from time-resolved QEXAFS studies during the partial oxidation of methane over Pt- and Rh-based catalysts demonstrate some of the recent developments of the technique (use not only of Si(111) but also Si(311) crystals, angular encoder, full EXAFS spectra at subsecond recording time, and modulation excitation spectroscopy). In order to obtain spectroscopic information on the oxidation state inside a microreactor, scanning and full field X-ray microscopy with X-ray absorption spectroscopic contrast were achieved under reaction conditions. If a microbeam is applied, fast scanning techniques like QEXAFS are required. In this way, even X-ray absorption spectroscopic tomographic images of a slice of a microreactor were obtained. The studies were recently extended to spatiotemporal studies that give important insight into the dynamics of the catalyst structure in a spatial manner with subsecond time-resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJournal of Physics: Conference Series
PublisherIOP Publishing
Publication date2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event14th International Conference on X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure - Camerino, Italy
Duration: 26 Jul 200931 Jul 2009


Conference14th International Conference on X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Shining X-rays on catalysts at work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this