Catalytic Farming: Reaction Rotation Extends Catalyst Performance

Juan Scaiano and Anabel Lanterna report on an environmentally friendly way to reactivate catalysts.

The use of heterogeneous catalysis has improved the separation and reusability of catalytic materials considerably compared to their homogeneous counterparts. Nevertheless, the turnover of these catalysts can still suffer from different deactivation pathways. “Current techniques to overcome this issue involve the use of heat and/or high oxygen or hydrogen pressures, a process that is usually expensive and wasteful,” said Professor Juan Scaiano from the University of Ottawa (Canada), whose group, including Dr. Anabel Lanterna, has been researching this area for several years. “As Green Chemistry practices have inspired many changes in the industrial synthesis of traditional chemicals, alternative strategies based on the reduction of waste production while regenerating the catalysts activity are welcomed.” They got inspired by practices in Agriculture and decided to explore a new strategy – catalytic farming – named like this due to its resemblance to the crop rotation approach that farmers have been using for centuries. 

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