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Title: Heterogeneous Catalysis: A Central Science for a Sustainable Future

ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States
  2. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, United States
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Accounts of Chemical Research; Journal Volume: 50; Journal Issue: 3; Related Information: CCEI partners with the University of Delaware (lead); Brookhaven National Laboratory; California Institute of Technology; Columbia University; University of Delaware; Lehigh University; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Minnesota; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; University of Pennsylvania; Princeton University; Rutgers University
Country of Publication:
United States
catalysis (homogeneous), catalysis (heterogeneous), biofuels (including algae and biomass), bio-inspired, hydrogen and fuel cells, materials and chemistry by design, synthesis (novel materials), synthesis (self-assembly), synthesis (scalable processing)

Citation Formats

Friend, Cynthia M., and Xu, Bingjun. Heterogeneous Catalysis: A Central Science for a Sustainable Future. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00510.
Friend, Cynthia M., & Xu, Bingjun. Heterogeneous Catalysis: A Central Science for a Sustainable Future. United States. doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00510.
Friend, Cynthia M., and Xu, Bingjun. Tue . "Heterogeneous Catalysis: A Central Science for a Sustainable Future". United States. doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00510.
title = {Heterogeneous Catalysis: A Central Science for a Sustainable Future},
author = {Friend, Cynthia M. and Xu, Bingjun},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00510},
journal = {Accounts of Chemical Research},
number = 3,
volume = 50,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Mar 21 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Mar 21 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
  • No abstract prepared.
  • The authors have concentrated their studies of molecular-scale catalysis on transition metals, which catalyze hydrocarbon conversion reactions, and on the hydrogenation of carbon monoxide. They studied platinum, an excellent catalyst for dehydrocyclization of alkanes to aromatic molecules, and rhodium, which produces oxygenated organic molecules from carbon monoxide and hydrogen selectively. They also investigated iron, that catalyzes the ammonia synthesis from nitrogen and hydrogen as well as the CO-H/sub 2/ reaction. From these studies they identified three necessary ingredients of selective molecular-scale catalysis: atomic surface structure, an active carbonaceous deposit, and the proper oxidation stat of surface atoms.
  • Surface science studies using small-area single crystals and a combination of electron, ion, photon, and molecular beam scattering techniques have been exploring surface properties on the molecular level. Many new phenomena were discovered that could be used to recast the models or concepts we employ to describe surfaces. The surface structure exhibits relaxation, reconstruction, and the presence of steps and kinks on the atomic scale. Chemisorption causes adsorbate-induced restructuring of surfaces, and the substrate has a significant influence on the growth mode of the deposited material (epitaxy). The surface chemical bond is cluster like, thermal activation is needed for chemicalmore » bond breaking, and rough, more open surfaces are markedly more reactive than flat surfaces with close atomic packing. The adsorbate-adsorbate interaction that may be repulsive or attractive induces weakening of the adsorbate-substrate bond and ordering in the surface monolayer. Surface dynamics studies reveal low potential energy barriers for the diffusion of molecules along the surface (two-dimensional phase approximation) and rapid energy transfer between incident gas and surface atoms. Catalyzed surface reactions may be surface structure sensitive or structure insensitive and coadsorbed promoter atoms act by altering the structure and/or the bonding of adsorbed molecules.« less
  • This paper summarizes three recently observed phenomena, translational activation, collision-induced activation, and collision-induced desorption, that are either explanations or plausible explanations for the different surface chemistry at high and low reactant pressure. It also briefly describes how the high-pressure requirement can be bypassed so that surface reactions which normally occur only under high pressures of gaseous reactants can be carried out in low-pressure, UHV environments.