Our project

TrackAct - Tracking the Active Site in Heterogeneous Catalysis for Emission Control

More than 95% of all chemical products have seen a catalyst during their production, hence, catalysis plays a tremendeous role, presently being a 3 trillion $ / year market of chemical industry. Heterogeneous catalysis is a substantial part of it, and the great importance of emission control for environmental and human health is obvious.

Despite this importance, still very little is understood about the mechanisms on a truly atomic scale which is necessary for better control of function on all length scales up to the macroscopic. Consequently, catalyst design has been more empirical than knowledge-driven up to now. More than 60% of the noble metals produced worldwide are used in catalysis. As noble metals are finite resources, there is an urgent need to reduce their content in catalysts to the effective minimum, the so-called active site. Structural changes under process conditions and their pronounced heterogeneity often pose a great challenge for knowledge-based design. New perspectives are evolving, e.g. in the preparation of defined metal clusters/particles, their characterization, and theoretical modeling, allowing to track and fundamentally understand the active sites in catalytic systems. This is the starting point of this interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre, where we aim at a holistic understanding by linking the different length scales and catalyst complexity levels. Our scale-bridging approach connects three areas: (A) size-selected clusters and defined nanoparticles, (B) porous catalysts with noble metal particles of defined size on support oxides with oriented surfaces and (C) hierarchically structured catalysts at the reactor level.

Project Area A

Project Area B

Project Area C

FuturEMission: Register now

Submission Deadline extended to 25.4.! Find out more.

The goal of TrackAct is to identify and track the nature of the active site, to design and manipulate them from bottom-up across the various length scales, and - on a long-term vision - predict and actively control them during operation.

TrackAct officially  started on January 1st 2021, press release from DFG and KIT.

Auf der Jagd nach dem aktiven Zentrum - Video

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Auf der Jagd nach dem aktiven Zentrum - Video

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Katalyseforschung auf drei Skalenebenen - Video

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Katalyseforschung auf drei Skalenebenen - Video

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News

Here you can find the most recent news.

Thumbnail of video "Katalyseforschung auf drei Skalenebenen"Christian Wetzel, ZML
Katalyseforschung auf drei Skalenebenen - Video

Get to know the different departments in our second video! Here, our scientists present their work - from catalysts in the microcosm to hand-sized, applied catalysts.

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Thumbnail of video "Auf der Jagd nach dem aktiven Zentrum"Christian Wetzel, ZML
Auf der Jagd nach dem aktiven Zentrum - Video

How do catalysts work and what do they look like during the reaction? These are the key questions for the development of efficient catalytic processes, the understanding of which is the ultimate goal of TrackAct.

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Graphical abstract of publication "Continuous flow synthesis of atom-precise platinum clusters"
New Publication in B02 und C02

Our colleagues from B02 and C02 developed continuous flow synthesis platform enabling large-scale preparation of atom-defined clusters. If you want to know more about the potential of this approach, check out this exciting study!

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Graphical abstract of publication "Surface States Governing the Activity and Selectivity of Pt-Based Ammonia Slip Catalysts for Selective Ammonia Oxidation"
New Publication in B3

Selective oxidation of NH3 to N2 represent the desired reaction pathway for NH3 elimination. Using a combination of complementary spectroscopic techniques in combination with theoretical calculations, our colleagues were able to reveal the correlation between the different Pt states and the reaction selectivity.

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Graphical abstract of publication: "Unlocking the Mysteries of Technical Catalyst Deactivation: A View from Space"
New Publication in C03

Are you interested to unlock the mysteries of technical catalyst deactivation? Do you want to know which methods may help you to get deep insights into deactivation mechanisms? Check out our recent review published in ChemCatChem.

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Graphical abstract of publication: "Composition-Dependent Alloy Nanoparticle Shape Changes under Reaction Conditions: Kinetic and Thermodynamic Effects"
New Publication in A02

To compare the catalytic activity over large complexity and pressure ranges, the determination of the turnover frequency (TOF) is essential. Our colleagues from A2 critically investigated the influence of different experimental parameters on the observed TOF values of UHV-based model systems of different complexity in their newest study. Congratulations!

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