A team of researchers at the ‘ University of Trieste , thanks to the collaboration of American research groups, he said – as we learn from the study entitled “Control of Metal Nanocrystal Size Reveals Metal-Support Interface Role for Ceria Catalysts” published in the journal Science Express – that he had “developed a simple and effective method to understand how the heterogeneous catalysts . ” This will allow, among other things, to limit the production of carbon monoxide .

The discovery made ​​by researchers at the University of Trieste will have many future applications: “From the conversion of carbon monoxide, known killer gas produced by poorly functioning stoves and industrial facilities, the sustainable production of hydrogen energy carrier of the future, by improving the functioning optimization of petrochemical plants – experts explain – of countless chemical processes. ” All this with the realization of catalysts much more effective than the existing ones. To this result it was possible to reach thanks to the collaboration with prestigious international research groups of the University of Pennsylvania and the Brook-haven National Laboratory in Upton.


In particular, in contrast to the heterogeneous catalysts used so far (that is present in a solid phase), the new system developed by researchers at the University of Trieste “plans – says Paul Fornasiero, one of the coordinators of the study Trieste – to build the catalysts from bricks similar to the construction of the famous ‘Lego’, but nano-sized (small – one billionth of a meter) and all absolutely identical. ” From what can be analyzed with great precision these materials and understand how it works, in order to identify which atoms are more ‘active’ in accelerating the chemical reaction in question. From here the construction of new materials containing these atoms.

“The study – says Matthew Cargnello, co-first author of the research conducted by ‘ University of Trieste – has allowed us to demonstrate how the oxidation of carbon monoxide occurs with a extremely superior speed on the atoms of the metals ( editor’s note : platinum, palladium or nickel) of these nano particles that are in contact with a support reducible as the cerium oxide “. Now – concludes Fornasiero – “reduce the environmental impact and encourage many industrial processes is indeed possible. Future applications can be substantial.”