Another challenge of this type of catalyst is that it normally relies heavily on platinum-group metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. These elements are expensive and not in abundant supply. In this latest work, Dr Shinya Furukawa and his team have focused on copper as the main component of their catalyst. The catalyst still contains palladium, but in much smaller quantities than normal – a 90% reduction compared to previously-developed catalysts.
Finally, the new catalyst can operate at the relatively low temperature of 150 degrees Celsius, which means it can be used in cars.
"This work could potentially contribution to not only global air purification but also cost reduction of automobiles", says Dr Furukawa.
This article is free to read in our open access, flagship journal Chemical Science: Shinya Furukawa et al., Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C9SC03172C. You can access our 2019 ChemSci Picks in this article collection. Read more like this