There are many base chemicals of importance for the catalytic production of fertilizers, plastics, detergents, pharmaceuticals and fuels. Currently, the feedstock for the chemical industry is entirely based on fossil sources with an emittance of 8% of the worlds footprint of greenhouse gases (not including when fuels is being burned).
Solid catalysts are frequently used to enhance the rate or selectivity of desirable chemical reactions. We aim to study the underlying mechanisms of these reactions by examining model catalytic systems.
It is known since several decades that many properties of water such density, compressibility, heat capacity etc. become strongly anomalous as the temperature decreases. In particular, this deviation from a simple liquid behaviour becomes strongly enhanced as water is cooled below the freezing point into the metastable supercooled regime.