Bert Weckhuysen has been awarded a LIFT project

A total of fourteen projects will start in 2020 with research that will impact the business community. The Launchpad for Innovative Future Technology (LIFT) funding instrument of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) is designed to stimulate public-private partnership between at least one company and one knowledge institution. A total of approximately 4 million euros has been made available from the Science PPP fund. Bert Weckhuysen has received funding for a LIFT project with Belgian company, Umicore. The main focus of the collaboration is to study the effect of promoters in automotive catalysis with advanced characterization methods.

A pinch of promoter works wonders for catalytic converters
Bert Weckhuysen is lead applicant and will lead a consortium of Utrecht University, Umicore AG & Co. KG

The catalytic converters used in passenger cars and goods vehicles would be much more efficient if they were able to remove carbon monoxide from exhaust gases at a low reaction temperature. Experiments with catalysts have shown that specific promoters can make platinum (a precious metal) hyperactive for the oxidation of carbon monoxide. This research project will use advanced characterization methods and real-world conditions in an attempt to better understand exactly how these promoters achieve this. The physicochemical insights gleaned by this project, and the spectroscopic methods it develops, will be entirely generic. This means that they can be applied to numerous platinum-based catalysts in the chemical industry.