Experimental investigations of the structural changes in methanol catalysts




North Zealand

Background:Methanol has recently attracted renewed interest because of its potential importance as a solar fuel. Methanol is also an important bulk chemical that is most efficiently formed over the industrial Cu/ZnO/Alumina catalyst. The identity of the active site and, in particular, therole of ZnO as a promoter for this type of catalyst is still under intense debate. These structural changes that are strongly dependent on the pretreatment method and reaction conditions have been observed and recently Topsøe/DTU published a paper concerning the coverage of Zn in the Cu surface in industrial type methanol catalysts after reduction in hydrogen. Methanol catalysts are one of our major products and we have a desire to get a deeper understanding of how and why Zn works as a promotor. A detailed understanding of these structural changes is important for further development of methanol catalysts.The Project:_This master project focusses on the interactions of synthesis gas with the Cu and CuZn (surface) alloys and ZnO surfaces as a function of reaction conditions. For this purpose the student will primarily be using Cryo-TPX equipment at Haldor Topsøe A/S and/or XPS at DTU todetermine surface structures, surface areas and coverages. Your Topsøe supervisor: Jens Sehested,  Phone: +45 2275 4681

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Haldor Topsøe A/S

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DTU Fysik


Ib Chorkendorff




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MSc in Physics and Nanotechnology


Ib Chorkendorff


MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

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