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Welsh Government minister visits the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

06th June 2013

Prof. Bowker with Leighton Andrews AM and University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan

Prof. Bowker with Leighton Andrews AM and University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan

Leighton Andrews, the Welsh Government Minister for Education and Skills visited the Cardiff Catalysis Institute this morning to see at first hand the facilities that are available in one of the world leading centres for catalysis.

The minister, accompanied by Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan was shown around by Prof. Mike Bowker, Deputy Director of the Institute.

On the tour the minister was shown demonstrations of the importance catalysis, including the Davy lamp and its related technology automotive catalysis which is applied in all UK cars. Dave Watson (PhD student) explained that the CCI is trying to find alternatives to the Pt which was originally used in the Davy lamp and is still used in car and truck catalysts, but which is extremely expensive. The visitors were also shown that gold, once thought to be inert, can be used as a reactive catalyst when produced in nanoparticle form and Rebecca McVicker (PhD student) showed them the synthesis of such particles by reducing chloroauric acid solution. From there the group went on to visit the Wolfson Nanoscience Lab and were shown the centre’s x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) system which provides essential information on the atomic composition of the catalysts which the team at the CCI are developing, and which is an essential component of our research here.