Combined temperature-programmed reaction and in situ x-ray scattering studies of size-selected silver clusters under realistic reaction conditions in the epoxidation of propene

Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.
The Journal of Chemical Physics (Impact Factor: 3.12). 09/2009; 131(12):121104-121104-4. DOI: 10.1063/1.3237158

ABSTRACT The catalytic activity and dynamical shape changes in size-selected nanoclusters at work are studied under realistic reaction conditions by using a combination of simultaneous temperature-programmed reaction with in situ grazing-incidence small angle x-ray scattering. This approach allows drawing a direct correlation between nanocatalyst size, composition, shape, and its function under realistic reaction conditions for the first time. The approach is illustrated in a chemical industry highly relevant selective partial oxidation of propene on a monodisperse silver nanocatalyst. The shape of the catalyst undergoes rapid change already at room temperature upon the exposure to the reactants, followed by a complex evolution of shape with increasing temperature. Acrolein formation is observed around 50 °C while the formation of the propylene oxide exhibits a sharp onset at 80 °C and is leveling off at 150 °C. At lower temperatures acrolein is produced preferentially to propylene oxide; at temperatures above 100 °C propylene oxide is favored.

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