Transitioning rationally designed catalytic materials to real “working” catalysts produced at commercial scale: nanoparticle materials
Catalyst design, from idea to commercialization, requires multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering research and development over 10–20 year time periods. Historically, the identification of new or improved catalyst materials has largely been an empirical trial-and-error process. However, advances in computational capabilities (new tools and increased processing power) coupled with new synthetic techniques have started to yield rationally-designed catalysts with controlled nano-structures and tailored properties. This technological advancement represents an opportunity to accelerate the catalyst development timeline and to deliver new materials that outperform existing industrial catalysts or enable new applications, once a number of unique challenges associated with the scale-up of nano-structured materials are overcome.