Heterogeneous catalysis significantly shapes society, as it plays a crucial role in the production of base chemicals, fuels for mobility and specialty chemicals and protection of the environment. Fischer-Tropsch synthesis is an increasingly important process for the production of fuels and chemicals from a variety of feedstock. Our working approach is to combine advanced kinetic and spectroscopic methods with theoretical studies. By combining advanced kinetic investigations on cobalt model systems with theoretical studies, we can understand the fine details of converting synthesis gas to hydrocarbons. Recently, we have developed strongly improved iron-based catalysts that approach cobalt-based systems in terms of performance. These insights can be extended to CO2 hydrogenation to methane, relevant to energy storage, for which manganese promotion of nickel will be highlighted. Besides, the highly dispersed, possibly isolated atom nature of the metal phase in ceria-supported Pd catalysts has been emphasized. We combine computational modeling with near-ambient pressure XPS and operando IR spectroscopy to investigate nanostructured ceria models. Our work highlights the dynamics of the Pd phase. A computational approach is developed to predict the composition of small supported Pd clusters in a reactive oxygen atmosphere. These methods are then applied to understand the positive effect of a ceria support on gold clusters for CO oxidation.
About the speaker:
Emiel Hensen obtained a PhD degree from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in 2000. He was promoted full professor in Eindhoven in 2009. In 2006-2008 he was a visiting research scientist at the Shell Research and Technology Center Amsterdam. He was visiting professor at Hokkaido University (2016) and VISTEC (since 2018). Hensen is the author of more than 475 publications (h-index: 62; ~14,200 citations), 5 patents, and 10 book contributions. He obtained Veni, Vidi, Vici and TOP grants and is chairman of the Netherlands Research School for Catalysis (NIOK), management team member of the Dutch gravitation program Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion, board member of the European Research Institute of Catalysis (ERIC) and member of the Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium. Hensen is dean of the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry of TU/e.