High Throughput Experimentation (HTE) techniques are among the newest and most promising experimental methods in many fields of chemical research, including materials science and catalysis. By allowing the rapid synthesis, characterisation and testing of a vast number of samples, these techniques offer a large potential for increasing the rate of scientific and technological progress. The high throughput of these techniques is made possible by the use of tailored automated workstations and fast-analysis equipments for the preparation and screening of the samples.
HTE can prove useful in all phases of the development of a catalyst: the synthesis of novel catalytic materials, their testing in chosen reactions and the optimisation of the conditions in which the catalytic reaction takes place can all be conducted with much greater speed and efficiency employing HTE procedures than by the use of conventional methods. Although these techniques are suitable for research both in homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, the application in the latter branch is concentrated on gas-phase reactions while examples of liquid-phase heterogeneous catalysts studied by HTE are far less common. This is due to some intrinsic technical difficulties connected to the use of large arrays of miniaturised parallel reactors in liquid-phase heterogeneous processes. In this presentation, selected examples will be given of the successful application of HTE in the study of heterogeneous catalysts both in liquid-phase reactions and in supercritical CO2 medium. Particular attention will be devoted to the technical issues encountered in these experiments and to the approaches used to solve them.