Methanol Synthesis over Cu/ZnO/Al2O3: The Active Site in Industrial Catalysis

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Unlike homogeneous catalysts, heterogeneous catalysts that have been optimized through decades are typically so complex and hard to characterize that the nature of the catalytically active site is not known. This is one of the main stumbling blocks in developing rational catalyst design strategies in heterogeneous catalysis. We show here how to identify the crucial atomic structure motif for the industrial Cu/ZnO/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} methanol synthesis catalyst. Using a combination of experimental evidence from bulk-, surface-sensitive and imaging methods collected on real high-performance catalytic systems in combination with DFT calculations. We show that the active site consists of Cu steps ... continued below

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Behrens, Malte March 28, 2012.

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Unlike homogeneous catalysts, heterogeneous catalysts that have been optimized through decades are typically so complex and hard to characterize that the nature of the catalytically active site is not known. This is one of the main stumbling blocks in developing rational catalyst design strategies in heterogeneous catalysis. We show here how to identify the crucial atomic structure motif for the industrial Cu/ZnO/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} methanol synthesis catalyst. Using a combination of experimental evidence from bulk-, surface-sensitive and imaging methods collected on real high-performance catalytic systems in combination with DFT calculations. We show that the active site consists of Cu steps peppered with Zn atoms, all stabilized by a series of well defined bulk defects and surface species that need jointly to be present for the system to work.

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  • Journal Name: Submitted to Science

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  • Report No.: SLAC-PUB-14662
  • Grant Number: AC02-76SF00515
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1037602
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc845463

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  • March 28, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 8:02 p.m.

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Behrens, Malte. Methanol Synthesis over Cu/ZnO/Al2O3: The Active Site in Industrial Catalysis, article, March 28, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc845463/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.