A Substance That Allows Electricity To Flow Through It NanAuCat Oxidation Catalyst Enables Accurate Monitoring of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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NanAuCat Oxidation Catalyst Enables Accurate Monitoring of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A gold-based oxidation catalyst, NanAuCat, is being used in analytical instruments capable of accurately monitoring dinitrogen monoxide (N2O) emissions.

Dinitrogen monoxide, commonly known as nitrous oxide, is a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide (CO2). While only CO2 is currently largely monitored and traded, other greenhouse gases such as N2O are likely to be included in trading schemes in the near future. For this to happen, improved measurement techniques are needed to provide accurate information about N2O and its effects as a greenhouse gas.

A draft international standard (ISO/DIS 21258) has been developed which aims to provide a method for accurately measuring N2O by the non-dispersive infra-red (NDIR) method. A problem with the NDIR method in this application is that carbon monoxide (CO) is an interfering substance and therefore must be removed before analyzing N2O. The preferred method is to remove CO by oxidation to carbon dioxide (CO2) which can be corrected for further analysis.

While many oxidation catalysts can potentially be used in applications to remove interfering CO, NanAuCat has become the catalyst of choice for Signal Group, a leading UK-based manufacturer of gas analyzers, systems and accessories for monitoring air emissions. An advantage of NanAuCat is its exceptional performance at low (ambient) temperatures and low CO challenge levels. This enables the NanAuCat to meet the required performance without overheating. Other catalysts identified in ISO 21258 require heating up to 120oC to achieve the required performance.

NanAuCat is a gold based oxidation catalyst specifically developed and optimized for the oxidation of harmful carbon monoxide to less harmful carbon dioxide. The active species on the NanAuCat catalyst are immobilized gold nano-particles. While gold has traditionally been thought of as an inert material, it has been known for over 20 years that when gold particles are reduced to less than 10nm, they become catalytically active in oxidation reactions. However, gold catalysts were not commercially available until recently.

NanAuCat was launched in 2009 and is commercially available. It is already being evaluated in many industrial and personal protection applications. For more details and to download a brochure, visit the Gold Oxidation Catalysts page on Premier Chemical’s website.

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