Insights into the structure of an enigmatic catalysts

Methanol synthesis

Holger Ruland, Daniel Laudenschleger und Martin Muhler collaborated for the study. © RUB, Marquard

In the past, the catalyst for the production of methanol had eluded all attempts to clarify its surface structure. Now researchers have learned more about its active site.

Methanol is one of the most important basic chemicals used, for example, to produce plastics or building materials. To render the production process even more efficient, it would be helpful to know more about the copper/zinc oxide/aluminium oxide catalyst deployed in methanol production. To date, however, it hasn’t been possible to analyse the structure of its surface under reaction conditions. A team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion has now succeeded in gaining insights into the structure of its active site. The researchers describe their findings in the journal Nature Communications from 4 August 2020.

Please find further information in the press release.

Original Publication: Laudenschleger, D., Ruland, H., Muhler, M.: Identifying the nature of the active sites in methanol synthesis over Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalysts, Nature Communications, 2020,