What is SHAPE?

SHAPE is a project focusing on the development of an experimental and theoretical methodology for structure dependent microkinetic models in heterogeneous catalysis.  The project started on May 1st, 2016.  It is hosted at Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy) in the Laboratory of Catalysis and Catalytic Processes of the Department of Energy. SHAPE is funded for 5 years by the European Reseach Council – ERC under the Starting Grant scheme (Grant N°677423) and is coordinated by the principal investigator Prof. Matteo Maestri.

Why is it important?

Heterogeneous catalysis plays a crucial role in modern societies both in the production of important chemicals (for instance, ammonia, the basis for production of fertilizers), energy applications (for example, fuel production) and environmental protection (for example, pollution abatement from vehicles). SHAPE aims at incorporating the effect of the catalyst structure in the microkinetic description of heterogeneous catalytic processes by hierarchically combining novel methods at different levels of accuracy in a dual feedback loop between theory and experiments. This approach requires the development and assessment of novel methods belonging to different disciplines, from physical chemistry to material science and chemical engineering. The possibility to predict the crystal habit under reacting conditions will have a direct impact on the fundamental analysis and design of the structure-activity relationship in heterogeneous catalysis, thus paving the way towards the nano-engineering of the catalyst structure to tailoring activity and selectivity for advanced process intensification and development.

For more information please contact the PI of the project Prof. Matteo Maestri.