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Nanostructured Catalysts (NanoKat)

A more efficient use of raw materials

Catalytic reactions are of fundamental importance for nearly all products used in daily life. Perhaps the best known example is the catalytic converter for auto exhaust gases. But even our laundries use catalysts to help remove dirt and stains. In the case of the vehicles, chemical catalysts are employed to remove undesirable exhaust gases whereas in the second case, it is the biocatalysts (enzymes) that assist under milder conditions in getting our clothes clean again.

Nearly every end product in the chemical industry has at least one step in the manufacturing process that requires the help of a catalyst. In a priority activity of the same name, TU Kaiserslautern is attempting to synthesize and characterize innovative nanostructured catalysts (NanoKat), while studying and determining their catalytic effect based on model reactions as well as proposing technically relevant applications. At the nano scale, these catalytic structures have size dimensions in a range smaller than .0001 millimeter.

Particular attention is given to the use of renewable resources as the material basis of these structures. This is because the depletion of fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal will impact not only the energy sector but also the chemical industry.