The transformation of methane into methanol or higher alcohols at moderate temperature and pressure conditions is of great environmental interest and remains a challenge despite many efforts. Extended surfaces of metallic nickel are inactive for a direct CH4 → CH3OH conversion.
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Surface defects are of decisive importance for the physics and chemistry of oxides. They represent local perturbations of the saturated metal-oxygen network and often comprise dangling-bond states and uncompensated surface charges.
The biogas produced from the anaerobic decomposition of organic material has almost equal concentrations of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The dry methane reforming (DRM) combines these gases generating carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2).
That is why DRM has received greater interest because it is an attractive and promising for conversion of greenhouse gases into synthesis gas (syngas) or prior to the manufacture of many chemical products.
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Ferrocene is an organometallic compound, consisting of a magnetic Fe atom placed in between two cyclopentadienil organic rings. When placed on top of a metallic surface, ferrocene molecules tend to self-organize, i.e., to form a perfectly uniform bidimensional lattice.
Selectivity to break specific molecular bonds is crucial in order to have control of chemical reactions. This is certainly more complex to achieve when the target molecules have equally “strong” chemical bonds.
Self-molecular assembly occurs when independent organic molecules “decide” (so to speak) to arrange regularly and uniformly, all by themselves, on top of, e.g., a metallic surface. This process allows to fabricate ultrathin organic monolayers, with potentially crucial implications for nanotechnological, chemical and biological applications.