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Catalyst Characterisation

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Understanding the reaction kinetics of a given catalyst is important, but it is not always the final word in catalyst characterization.

It is often important to assess various physical properties in full, from total surface area to catalyst dispersion.


These properties underlie the complex dynamics of catalytic materials by determining the number of reaction sites, thus catalytic activity. Hiden Analytical supplies a range of gas analysis and microreactor systems suitable for elucidating the physical properties of your catalysts.

Catalyst Characterisation Techniques

Temperature Programmed Desorption, Reduction & Oxidation

The surface properties of heterogeneous catalysts can be probed using a range of temperature-programmed profiles, typically desorption (TPD), reduction (TPR), or oxidation (TPO). Typically, a high sensitivity mass spectrometer is coupled with a microreactor or a vacuum chamber with a heated stage. Catalysts are subjected to a linear temperature ramp while the spectrometer continuously detects changes in the measuring environment. For example: It is possible to saturate a catalyst surface with a probe molecule like ammonia and observe the rate of desorption as a function of temperature and time.

Pulse Chemisorption

Catalyst characterization systems with pulse chemisorption (PCS) mode are based on the same basic principles as the above, with the added ability of repeatedly exposing catalysts to doses of reactive gas species through the primary stream. This enables researchers to carry out detailed investigations of catalytic activity by injecting specific sorbates at key catalytic stages, such as partial decomposition or oxidation.

Catalyst Characterisation with Hiden Analytical

Hiden Analytical supplies a range of quadrupole mass spectrometers and specialized catalyst characterization systems with built-in TPD, TPR, TPO and PCS modes. Contact us today if you would like more information about our product lines and specifications.

Further Reading