Launch of major European project on catalysis
21 June 2016

The kick-off meeting of the European R&D project “CritCat” was held in Brussels today. CritCat - full name “Towards Replacement of Critical Catalyst Materials by Improved Nanoparticle Control and Rational Design” - is a three-year Horizon 2020 project led by Jaakko Akola of Tampere University of Technology (TUT), which aims to lay a scientific foundation for the replacement or reduced use of critical metals such as Platinum, which are extensively employed in catalysis, with more earth-abundant materials whose functionality depends on, or is tuned by, nanoscale structure control. Unusually, and excitingly, the project is “theory-led”, i.e., the principal role of the experimental groups such as the NPRL is to test and validate the predictions arising from theoretical modelling of novel candidate catalysts. The work of the NPRL will focus on the doping with base metals, and characterisation, of size-selected Pt and MoS2 clusters. The project has 9 partners including TUT and Birmingham; also from the UK are the National Physical Lab (Andy Wain) and Nanolayers Research Computing Ltd (David Gao).