Molecular Probes to Analyze Powder Surfaces – News at the 7th IGC Symposium
BASF is using more and more Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC) to characterize surface properties of particles of batteries, catalysts, building materials and many others. “IGC as a one-fits-all technique gives great – but hardly explored – details” Dr. Matthias Kellermeier, BASF, Material Physics, Ludwigshafen, Germany, summarized it perfectly during his talk “Characterizing complex surfaces of industrial relevance by inverse chromatography”.
Steven Abbott with results of the discussion group.
Ten speakers from industry and academia exchanged their experiences with IGC during the 7th International IGC Symposium, 19.06.2018 in Cologne – with participants from 8 countries. The basic principle is quite easy: “15-20 different gas probes are used like AFM-tips to explore the surface properties” Dr. Ralf Dümpelmann, Inolytix AG, Switzerland, explained. “Many polar, apolar, cyclic and branched molecules are used to provide surface energies, nanoroughness, polarities and electron donor and acceptor properties”.
Practices & applications of IGC
However, the practices itself and the applications are very different, as the presentations showed. Dr. Peter Schiffels, Fraunhofer Inst. Bremen, showed the different surface qualities of lignin intended as precursor for bio-based carbon fiber production. Another practice was a good differentiation of industrial TiO2 samples shown by Sven Böhm, Kronos International, Leverkusen. In addition, the effect of different mills and grinding conditions on the mineral attapulgite was explained by Rachel Calvet, Ecoles des Mines, Albi, France. Other speakers provided examples about carbon black particles and zeolites.