Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts play a tremendous role in the efficiency of many large-scale industrial chemical processes. One example is ammonia production with an annual capacity of 200 Mt. It consumes 1-2% of the world’s energy supply and generates ≈ 400 Mt of greenhouse gases annually. The yield of ammonia generally ranges from 10-20% and for the past 100 years the production process has been essentially unchanged.
Development of new catalysts which often contain multiple active elements requires the detailed understanding of the chemical processes which can be achieved by advanced X-ray analytics that cover a large energy range of the X-rays.