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Non-ordered nanoparticle superstructures – aerogels as efficient (electro-)catalysts (AEROCAT)
Start date: Feb 1, 2014, End date: Jan 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"AEROCAT aims at the elucidation of the potential of nanoparticle derived aerogels in catalytic applications. The materials will be produced from a variety of nanoparticles available in colloidal solutions, amongst which are metals and metal oxides. The evolving aerogels are extremely light, highly porous solids and have been demonstrated to exhibit in many cases the important properties of the nanosized objects they consist of instead of simply those of the respective bulk solids. The resulting aerogel materials will be characterized with respect to their morphology and composition and their resulting (electro-)catalytic properties examined in the light of the inherent electronic nature of the nanosized constituents. Using the knowledge gained within the project the aerogel materials will be further re-processed in order to exploit their full potential relevant to catalysis and electrocatalysis.From the vast variety of possible applications of nanoparticle-based hydro- and aerogels like thermoelectrics, LEDs, pollutant clearance, sensorics and others we choose our strictly focused approach(i) due to the paramount importance of catalysis for the Chemical Industry,(ii) because we have successfully studied the Ethanol electrooxidation on a Pd-nanoparticle aerogel,(iii) we have patented on the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells with bimetallic aerogels,(iv) and we gained first and extremely promising results on the semi-hydrogenation of Acetylene on a mixed Pd/ZnO-nanoparticle aerogel.With this we are on the forefront of a research field which impact might not be overestimated. We should quickly explore its potentials and transfer on a short track the knowledge gained into pre-industrial testing."

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