The key to improving the performance and design of heterogeneous catalysts is understanding how structure and function correspond. Observing structure-function relationships under in situ or preferably operando conditions is considered to be the most meaningful way to understand them. I will present how national bright light facilities (synchrotrons, neutrons, and lasers) can be used to investigate both model and real catalyst systems employed in sustainable processes (waste to fuels, methane conversion & methanol to hydrocarbons), as well as identify intermediates responsible for activation and deactivation at the metal-support interface. The lecture will conclude with an overview of recent facility developments which will allow researchers in the future to realise Olympic ambitions.
Andrew Beale is a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, Group leader at the Research Complex at Harwell, Chief Scientific Officer of Finden Ltd and a management group member of the EPSRC-sponsored UK Catalysis Hub. He was awarded a BSc from the University of Sussex followed by a PhD at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on the subject of in situ X-ray crystallisation studies of mixed oxide materials. He then worked as a Postdoctoral fellow, VENI research fellow and Assistant Professor in the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Andy then returned to the UK and to UCL in 2013 as an EPSRC Early career fellow.
His interests lie in establishing structure-function relationships in materials, including catalytic solids and energy storage as a function of both time and space using X-ray & optical spectroscopic and scattering methods applied under in situ and operando conditions. In 2012 he co-founded Finden Ltd providing high-end characterisation of solid-state functional materials spanning the fields of catalysis, energy, automotive parts and pharmaceuticals. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the most recent recipient of their Peter Day mid-career award.