A group of scientists lead by the Xiamen-based investigator Nanfeng Zheng have developed nanoparticles that act as catalysts for the oxidation of CO (carbon monoxide) to CO2 (carbon dioxide).
Bringing two catalytic materials close to each other enables two separate reactions to occur simultaneously at almost the same location. The scientists used platinum nanocrystals covered with thin layers of iron hydroxide and nickel hydroxide, leaving gaps on the surface. Iron hydroxide ion combination with platinum can efficiently oxidize CO to CO2. Without nickel, this reaction is however unstable and intermediates are quickly dehydrated.
The nanoparticle catalyst proved efficient at room temperature and was stable for long periods, up to one month.