Inorganic Chemistry, Vol.58, No.8, 4842-4850, 2019
The Influence of Cu and Al Additives on Reduction of Iron(III) Oxide: In Situ XRD and XANES Study
The reduction of Fe-based nanocomposite catalysts doped with Al and Cu has been studied using in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD), in situ X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES), and temperature-programmed reduction (TPR) techniques. The catalysts have been synthesized by melting of iron, aluminum, and copper salts. According to XRD, the catalysts consist mainly of Fe2O3 and Al2O3 phases. Alumina is in an amorphous state, whereas iron oxide forms nanoparticles with the protohematite structure. The Al3+ cations are partially dissolved in the Fe2O3 lattice. Due to strong alumina-iron oxide interaction, the specific surface area of the catalysts increases significantly. TPR and XANES data indicate that copper forms highly dispersed surface CuO nanoparticles and partially dissolves in iron oxide. It has been shown that the reduction of iron(III) oxide by CO proceeds via two routes: a direct two-stage reduction of iron(III) oxide to metal (Fe2O3 -> Fe3O4 -> Fe) or an indirect three-stage reduction with the formation of FeO intermediate phases (Fe2O3 -> Fe3O4 -> FeO -> Fe). The introduction of Al into Fe2O3 leads to a decrease in the rate for all reduction steps. In addition, the introduction of Al stabilizes small Fe3O4 particles and prevents further sintering of the iron oxide. The mechanism of stabilization is associated with the formation of Fe3-xAlxO4 solid solution. The addition of copper to the Fe-Al catalyst leads to the formation of highly dispersed CuO particles on the catalyst surface and a mixed oxide with a spinel-type crystalline structure similar to that of CuFe2O4. The low-temperature reduction of Cu2+ to Cu-0 accelerates the Fe2O3 -> Fe3O4 and FeO -> Fe transformations but does not affect the Fe3O4 -> FeO/Fe stages. These changes in the reduction properties significantly affect the catalytic performance of the Fe-based nanocomposite catalysts in the low-temperature oxidation of CO.