NanAuCat™ Oxidation Catalyst Enables Accurate Monitoring of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Premier Chemicals’ Gold based oxidation catalyst, NanAuCat™, is being used in analytical instruments which are able to accurately monitor Dinitrogen Monoxide (N2O) emissions.

Dinitrogen Monoxide, more commonly known as Nitrous Oxide is a greenhouse gas with global warming potential of 296 times that of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Whilst currently only CO2 is subject to wide-scale monitoring and trading, it is likely in the near future that other greenhouse gases such as N2O will also be included in trading schemes. In order for this to be the case, improved measurement techniques are required so that accurate information on N2O and its effects as a greenhouse gas can be obtained.

A draft International Standard (ISO/DIS 21258) has been developed which aims to provide a method for measuring N2O accurately via a Non-dispersive infra-red (NDIR) method. A problem with the NDIR method in this application is that Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an interfering substance and therefore must be removed prior to analysis of the N2O. The preferred method of removal of CO is via oxidation to Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which can be corrected for following analysis.

Whilst a number of oxidation catalysts could potentially be used in the application to remove the interfering CO, NanAuCat™ has become the catalyst of choice for Signal Group, a leading UK based manufacturer of gas analysers, systems and accessories for monitoring emissions to air. One of the advantages of NanAuCat™ is its exceptional performance at low (ambient) temperatures and low CO challenge levels. This enables NanAuCat™ to meet the required performance without being heated. Other catalysts, identified in ISO 21258, require heating to 120oC in order to meet the required performance.

NanAuCat™ is a Gold based oxidation catalyst which has been specifically developed and optimised for oxidation of harmful Carbon Monoxide to the much less harmful Carbon Dioxide. The active species on the NanAuCat™ catalyst are immobilised gold nano-particles. Whilst Gold has traditionally been thought of as an inert material, it has been known for more than 20 years that when Gold particles are reduced to below 10nm in size they become very catalytically active in oxidation reactions. However until recently Gold catalysts have not been available commercially,
NanAuCat™ was launched in 2009 and is available in commercial quantities. It is already being evaluated in several industrial and personal protection applications.

For further details, and to download a brochure, visit our Gold Oxidation Catalyst page.