Sebastian Kuld, Max Thorhauge, Hanne Falsig, Christian F. Elkjær, Stig Helveg, Ib Chorkendorff, Jens Sehested
Groundbreaking research on improved methanol catalysts published in Science
Science, Vol 352, issue 6288, 20 May 2016 White paper
Copper nanoparticles can catalyze the formation of methanol from a mixture of CO2, CO, and H2, but adding zinc oxide nanoparticles, themselves inactive in this reaction, greatly boosts the rates. Kuld et al. measured how methanol synthesis activity varies with the coverage of zinc atoms on the copper nanoparticles, as determined experimentally and with density functional theory calculations. The ZnO nanoparticle size determined how much zinc covers the copper surface and in turn controlled the catalyst activity.
— Editor, Science, Phil Szuromi