A new X-ray absorption cell dedicated to in situ and operando experiments in heterogeneous catalysis has been built and tested. The cell consists of several boron nitride and stainless steel plates linked together using graphite seals. It allows the measurement of XANES and EXAFS spectra of heterogeneous catalysts within a wide range of photon energies in transmission mode under the flow of various oxidative and reductive gas mixtures at elevated temperatures. The cell is compact and easy to build. Catalysts are loaded into the cell as powders. The use of boron nitride and a small beam pathlength in the cell result in a low absorption of the X-ray beam at lower energies. The cell was tested by in situ characterizing cobalt species during oxidative and reductive pre-treatments of a silica-supported Fischer-Tropsch catalyst. An operando study of methanol conversion over alumina-supported molybdenum catalysts was also carried out.
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