Breakthrough In The Study Of Vanadium Oxides

A team of scientists at the Institute of Experimental Physics has achieved a breakthrough in their study of vanadium oxides and their clusters. The group, led by Institute Head Wolfgang Ernst and Andreas Hauser, used a method employed by researchers at the Graz University of Technology in their investigation of nano-cluster structures. The scientists have examined the structure, and thermodynamic properties of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) and the results will give a better understanding of the stability of vanadium oxide nanoparticles. The new knowledge will enhance the production of SCR catalytic converters and their applications in various industries such as industrial plants, combustion engines, and power stations.

Vanadium oxides are essential for catalytic reduction of the presence of nitrogen oxide in exhaust gases and are also important in the oxidation of hydrocarbons. Vanadium pentoxide is the most valuable catalytic chemical among all vanadium oxides. The scientists have mainly focused on the evaporation of vanadium pentoxide powder in detail. They used a “helium droplet” technique used by the researchers at the Graz University of Technology. The inspiration for the study is the uncertainty around the evaporation of individual vanadium pentoxide molecules and the reaction that ensues. Ernst and Hauser have proved that the evaporation occurs primarily in the units of vanadium oxide (V4O10). The results indicate that the dimers of molecular building blocks evaporate and not the individual pentoxide molecules.

The findings are significant for the catalyst industry, as the studies have proved, with their measurements, that they can evaporate vanadium oxide without changing the stoichiometric composition of the solid. These results will be the edifice for the development of a new process in which metallic nanoparticles can be coated with vanadium pentoxide particles. They will be useful in the production of economically viable catalyst materials for the reduction of nitrogen oxides. The team at the Institute of Experimental Physics are conducting tests on selected gas mixtures and follow-up experiments on the vanadium-oxide coated metal clusters.