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Title: Theoretical Studies in Heterogenous Catalysis: Towards a Rational Design of Novel Catalysts for Hydrodesulfurization and Hydrogen Production

Abstract

Traditionally, knowledge in heterogeneous catalysis has come through empirical research. Nowadays, there is a clear interest to change this since millions of dollars in products are generated every year in the chemical and petrochemical industries through catalytic processes. To obtain a fundamental knowledge of the factors that determine the activity of heterogeneous catalysts is a challenge for modern science since many of these systems are very complex in nature. In principle, when a molecule adsorbs on the surface of a heterogeneous catalyst, it can interact with a large number of bonding sites. It is known that the chemical properties of these bonding sites depend strongly on the chemical environment around them. Thus, there can be big variations in chemical reactivity when going from one region to another in the surface of a heterogeneous catalyst. A main objective is to understand how the structural and electronic properties of a surface affect the energetics for adsorption processes and the paths for dissociation and chemical reactions. In recent years, advances in instrumentation and experimental procedures have allowed a large series of detailed works on the surface chemistry of heterogeneous catalysts. In many cases, these experimental studies have shown interesting and unique phenomena. Theorymore » is needed to unravel the basic interactions behind these phenomena and to provide a general framework for the interpretation of experimental results. Ideally, theoretical calculations based on density-functional theory have evolved to the point that one should be able to predict patterns in the activity of catalytic surfaces. As in the case of experimental techniques, no single theoretical approach is able to address the large diversity of phenomena occurring on a catalyst. Catalytic surfaces are usually modeled using either a finite cluster or a two-dimensionally periodic slab. Many articles have been published comparing the results of these two approaches. An important advantage of the cluster approach is that one can use the whole spectrum of quantum-chemical methods developed for small molecules with relatively minor modifications. On the other hand, the numerical effort involved in cluster calculations increases rather quickly with the size of the cluster. This problem does not exist when using slab models. Due to the explicit incorporation of the periodicity of the crystal lattice through the Bloch theorem, the actual dimension of a slab calculation depends only on the size of the unit cell. In practical terms, the slab approach is mainly useful for investigating the behavior of adsorbates at medium and high coverages. Very large unit cells are required at the limit of low to zero coverage, or when examining the properties and chemical behavior of isolated defect sites in a surface. In these cases, from a computational viewpoint, the cluster approach can be much more cost effective than the slab approach. Slab and cluster calculations can be performed at different levels of sophistication: semi-empirical methods, simple ab initio Hartree-Fock, ab initio post-Hartree-Fock (CI, MP2, etc), and density functional theory. Density-functional (DF) based calculations frequently give adsorption geometries with a high degree of accuracy and predict reliable trends for the energetics of adsorption reactions. This article provides a review of recent theoretical studies that deal with the behavior of novel catalysts used for hydrodesulfurization (HDS) reactions and the production of hydrogen (i.e. catalytic processes employed in the generation of clean fuels). These studies involve a strong coupling of theory and experiment. A significant fraction of the review is focused on the importance of size-effects and correlations between the electronic and chemical properties of catalytic materials. The article begins with a discussion of results for the desulfurization of thiophene on metal carbides and phosphides, systems which have the potential to become the next generation of industrial HDS catalysts. Then, systematic studies concerned with the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) on extended surfaces, organometallic complexes and enzymes are presented. Finally, the reasons for the high catalytic activity of Au-CeO{sub 2} and Cu-CeO{sub 2} in the production of hydrogen through the water-gas shift reaction (CO + H{sub 2}O {yields} H{sub 2} + CO{sub 2}) are analyzed. It is shown that theoretical methods are very valuable tools for helping in the rational design of heterogeneous catalysts.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Doe - Office Of Science
OSTI Identifier:
946771
Report Number(s):
BNL-81930-2009-BC
R&D Project: 06236; KC0302010; TRN: US200903%%992
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-98CH10886
Resource Type:
Book
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 02 PETROLEUM; ADSORPTION; BASIC INTERACTIONS; CATALYSTS; CHEMICAL PROPERTIES; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; CRYSTAL LATTICES; DESIGN; DESULFURIZATION; HETEROGENEOUS CATALYSIS; HYDROGEN; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; PETROCHEMICALS; PHOSPHIDES; PRODUCTION; THIOPHENE; WATER GAS

Citation Formats

Rodriguez, J A, and Liu, P. Theoretical Studies in Heterogenous Catalysis: Towards a Rational Design of Novel Catalysts for Hydrodesulfurization and Hydrogen Production. United States: N. p., 2008. Web.
Rodriguez, J A, & Liu, P. Theoretical Studies in Heterogenous Catalysis: Towards a Rational Design of Novel Catalysts for Hydrodesulfurization and Hydrogen Production. United States.
Rodriguez, J A, and Liu, P. Wed . "Theoretical Studies in Heterogenous Catalysis: Towards a Rational Design of Novel Catalysts for Hydrodesulfurization and Hydrogen Production". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/946771.
@article{osti_946771,
title = {Theoretical Studies in Heterogenous Catalysis: Towards a Rational Design of Novel Catalysts for Hydrodesulfurization and Hydrogen Production},
author = {Rodriguez, J A and Liu, P},
abstractNote = {Traditionally, knowledge in heterogeneous catalysis has come through empirical research. Nowadays, there is a clear interest to change this since millions of dollars in products are generated every year in the chemical and petrochemical industries through catalytic processes. To obtain a fundamental knowledge of the factors that determine the activity of heterogeneous catalysts is a challenge for modern science since many of these systems are very complex in nature. In principle, when a molecule adsorbs on the surface of a heterogeneous catalyst, it can interact with a large number of bonding sites. It is known that the chemical properties of these bonding sites depend strongly on the chemical environment around them. Thus, there can be big variations in chemical reactivity when going from one region to another in the surface of a heterogeneous catalyst. A main objective is to understand how the structural and electronic properties of a surface affect the energetics for adsorption processes and the paths for dissociation and chemical reactions. In recent years, advances in instrumentation and experimental procedures have allowed a large series of detailed works on the surface chemistry of heterogeneous catalysts. In many cases, these experimental studies have shown interesting and unique phenomena. Theory is needed to unravel the basic interactions behind these phenomena and to provide a general framework for the interpretation of experimental results. Ideally, theoretical calculations based on density-functional theory have evolved to the point that one should be able to predict patterns in the activity of catalytic surfaces. As in the case of experimental techniques, no single theoretical approach is able to address the large diversity of phenomena occurring on a catalyst. Catalytic surfaces are usually modeled using either a finite cluster or a two-dimensionally periodic slab. Many articles have been published comparing the results of these two approaches. An important advantage of the cluster approach is that one can use the whole spectrum of quantum-chemical methods developed for small molecules with relatively minor modifications. On the other hand, the numerical effort involved in cluster calculations increases rather quickly with the size of the cluster. This problem does not exist when using slab models. Due to the explicit incorporation of the periodicity of the crystal lattice through the Bloch theorem, the actual dimension of a slab calculation depends only on the size of the unit cell. In practical terms, the slab approach is mainly useful for investigating the behavior of adsorbates at medium and high coverages. Very large unit cells are required at the limit of low to zero coverage, or when examining the properties and chemical behavior of isolated defect sites in a surface. In these cases, from a computational viewpoint, the cluster approach can be much more cost effective than the slab approach. Slab and cluster calculations can be performed at different levels of sophistication: semi-empirical methods, simple ab initio Hartree-Fock, ab initio post-Hartree-Fock (CI, MP2, etc), and density functional theory. Density-functional (DF) based calculations frequently give adsorption geometries with a high degree of accuracy and predict reliable trends for the energetics of adsorption reactions. This article provides a review of recent theoretical studies that deal with the behavior of novel catalysts used for hydrodesulfurization (HDS) reactions and the production of hydrogen (i.e. catalytic processes employed in the generation of clean fuels). These studies involve a strong coupling of theory and experiment. A significant fraction of the review is focused on the importance of size-effects and correlations between the electronic and chemical properties of catalytic materials. The article begins with a discussion of results for the desulfurization of thiophene on metal carbides and phosphides, systems which have the potential to become the next generation of industrial HDS catalysts. Then, systematic studies concerned with the hydrogen-evolution reaction (HER) on extended surfaces, organometallic complexes and enzymes are presented. Finally, the reasons for the high catalytic activity of Au-CeO{sub 2} and Cu-CeO{sub 2} in the production of hydrogen through the water-gas shift reaction (CO + H{sub 2}O {yields} H{sub 2} + CO{sub 2}) are analyzed. It is shown that theoretical methods are very valuable tools for helping in the rational design of heterogeneous catalysts.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2008},
month = {10}
}

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