Our Research

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Program & Main Themes


SynCat@Beijing has set out an ambitious fundamental reserch program which is dedicated to the understanding structure and reactivity of matter. To get insights into the catalytic processes

relevant for clean CTL forms the framework of this mission.

Fe FTS in action


This first major research program at SynCat@Beijing is aimed at the surface chemistry of Fe Fischer-Tropsch catalysts in their working - carbidic - state. It ranges from catalyst preparation, formulation, characterization and testing as it is commonly done in a professional industrial laboratory, via surface science of nano-particles and single-crystals to molecular modeling by computational methods.

The large distance between the worlds of applied catalysis and the extremely simplified situations dealt with in molecular modeling will tried to be bridged by

(a) studies of planar model catalysts consisting of well-defined nanoparticles on planar supports which greatly simplifies the assessment of the catalyst's morphology, structure sensitivity and deactivation processes; and

(b) studies of the surface chemistry of iron and carbidic iron, which serve to validate the results of DFT studies and offer a better basis for understanding reaction mechanisms.



With the broad range of equipment assembled at SynCat@Beijing (see right), other main themes can be pursued along similar lines in the future. 


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Recent Literature on Fe FTS


"Methane, formaldehyde and methanol formation pathways from carbon monoxide and hydrogen on the (0 0 1) surface of the iron carbide χ-Fe5C2,"

M. Olus Ozbek, J.W. (Hans) Niemantsverdriet, J.Catal. 325 (2015) 9-18

Link to article


“Monolayer Iron Carbide Films on Au(111) as a Fischer–Tropsch Model Catalyst”

Gilbère J.A. Mannie, Lutz Lammich, Yong-Wang Li, J.W. (Hans) Niemantsverdriet, Jeppe V. Lauritsen, ACS Catal. 4 (2014) 3255-3260

Editor’s choice = open access!

Link to article


“Elementary reactions of CO and H2 on C-terminated χ-Fe5C2(0 0 1) surfaces”

M. Olus Ozbek, J.W. (Hans) Niemantsverdriet, J. Catal. 317 (2014) 158-166

Link to article