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Keywords:

  • Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst;
  • heterogeneous catalysis;
  • in situ studies;
  • methanol synthesis;
  • neutron diffraction
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Studying the workplace: An industrial methanol synthesis catalyst operating at high pressure was studied by in situ neutron diffraction. The peculiar microstructure of Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 nanocatalysts was found to be stable under reaction conditions. Stacking fault annealing and brass formation was only observed at temperatures higher than used in the methanol synthesis process, providing support for active role of defects in this catalyst system.