Characterization of bimetallic catalysts: size, structure and composition during synthesis and at work

In this research project, we focused on studying supported bimetallic Pd-Ni-based hydrogenation catalysts. When alloyed, these catalysts have been shown to greatly improve the catalytic performance when compared with their monometallic counterparts which was shown for applications ranging from biomass upgrading to electrocatalysis. However, in the case of metal segregation, this so-called synergy between the metals can no longer be utilized to improve catalytic processes and thus make these processes more sustainable or economically attractive in the first place. That’s why we focused on gaining a fundamental understanding of metal segregation phenomena and developed both a toolkit to assess them, as well as found ways to control metal segregation during synthesis. Furthermore, we went on to apply these materials for the feedstock transition, for which we utilized the synergistic effect within Pd-Ni catalysts to depolymerized chitosan, which can serve as an abundant, cheap, and renewable plastic alternative within coating materials.