Considerations for Complex Catalysis Samples

September 8, 2020 | SSRL Summer School on Synchrotron X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy | Adam Hoffman

As a part of 2020 SSRL Summer School, Adam led a session focused on the topic of utilizing X-ray absorption spectroscopy at SSRL to characterize complex catalysis samples. He discussed the strength of XAS in catalyst characterization, and presented the collaboration and experimental capability that Co-ACCESS program offers for the catalysis users who wish to conduct their research at SSRL. He also talked about the essential questions that the users should ask themselves in order to plan for the successful beam time at the synchrotron. 


Observation and Elucidation of the Bimetallic Structure of MoO3-promoted Rh Catalysts for Syngas Conversion to Alcohols using in-situ XAS

August 6, 2020 | Denver X-ray Conference | Adam Hoffman

The development of high-pressure in-situ capabilities for catalyst characterization at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource has been used to gain insight into the structure-activity relationship of silica-supported MoO3-promoted Rh catalysts for syngas conversion to higher alcohols. Rh shows promise to convert syngas (H2 and CO), derived from coal, natural gas, biomass or other sources, into higher oxygenates but catalytic performance is hindered due to competing side reactions on varied surfaces and bonding sites of the Rh.  The addition of a promotor, an alkali or transition metal oxide, has been shown to alter the activity and/or selectivity to higher oxygenates with little understanding as to what is the structure of the promoted catalyst or why the promotor changes catalytic performance.


Catalysis: the Hidden Path to Foods, Fuels and Our Future

January 30, 2018 | SLAC Public Lecture | Simon Bare

The high standard of living we enjoy today is made possible by catalysts ­– behind-the-scenes agents that promote chemical reactions in the vast majority of industrial processes, including production of fertilizers, gasoline and other essential products. But we have only a poor understanding of how catalysts actually work. At SLAC's Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), we are using X-rays to watch catalysts in action at an atomic scale. By observing catalytic reactions in experimental chambers under conditions that mimic large-scale commercial processes, we gain fundamental insights with great practical value for designing industrial catalysts that are more specific and more powerful.