Journal of Physical Chemistry B, Vol.122, No.2, 794-800, 2018
Hydrogenation of CO2 on ZnO/Cu(100) and ZnO/Cu(111) Catalysts: Role of Copper Structure and Metal-Oxide Interface in Methanol Synthesis
The results of kinetic tests and ambient-pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AP-XPS) show the important role played by a ZnO-copper interface in the generation of CO and the synthesis of methanol from CO2 hydrogenation. The deposition of nanoparticles of ZnO on Cu(100) and Cu(111), theta(oxi) < 0.3 monolayer, produces highly active catalysts. The catalytic activity of these systems increases in the sequence: Cu(111) < Cu(100) < ZnO/Cu(111) < ZnO/Cu(100). The structure of the copper substrate influences the catalytic performance of a ZnO-copper interface. Furthermore, size and metal-oxide interactions affect the chemical and catalytic properties of the oxide making the supported nanoparticles different from bulk ZnO. The formation of a ZnO-copper interface favors the binding and conversion of CO2 into a formate intermediate that is stable on the catalyst surface up to temperatures above 500 K. Alloys of Zn with Cu(111) and Cu(100) were not stable at the elevated temperatures (500-600 K) used for the CO2 hydrogenation reaction. Reaction with CO2 oxidized the zinc, enhancing its stability over the copper substrates.