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Penn team and colleagues create a cheaper and cleaner catalyst for burning methane
Date:8/9/2012

the team deposited them on a hydrophobic surface composed of aluminum oxide to ensure they were evenly distributed.

"These techniques are common in the nanotechnology community, but I think it's a novel approach in making catalyst materials," Gorte said.

Testing the material's activity, the researchers found that their core-shell nanostructure performed 30 times better than the best methane combustion catalysts currently available, using the same amount of metal. It completely burned methane at 400 degrees C.

"It's possible to envision this catalyst contributing to pollution control from automotive exhaust and maybe even improving the efficiency of gas turbines," Cargnello said.

The researchers plan to further study the structure of the new catalyst to better understand why it works so well. And they will use similar methods to create new materials to test.

"We can use this assembly method to test different types of metals and oxides," Cargnello said. "That will allow us to prepare a whole library of materials, some of which might be very good at catalyzing reactions besides methane combustion."


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Contact: Katherine Unger Baillie
kbaillie@upenn.edu
215-898-9194
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert

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