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Title: A Theoretical Study of Methanol Oxidation on RuO 2(110): Bridging the Pressure Gap

Partial oxidation catalysis is often fraught with selectivity problems, largely because there is a tendency of oxidation products to be more reactive than the starting material. One industrial process that has successfully overcome this problem is partial oxidation of methanol to formaldehyde. This process has become a global success, with an annual production of 30 million tons. Although ruthenium catalysts have not shown activity as high as the current molybdena or silver-based industrial standards, the study of ruthenium systems has the potential to elucidate which catalyst properties facilitate the desired partial oxidation reaction as opposed to deep combustion due to a pressure-dependent selectivity “switch” that has been observed in ruthenium-based catalysts. In this work, we find that we are able to successfully rationalize this “pressure gap” using near-ab initio steady-state microkinetic modeling on RuO 2(110). We obtain molecular desorption prefactors from experiment and determine all other energetics using density functional theory. We show that, under ambient pressure conditions, formaldehyde production is favored on RuO 2(110), whereas under ultrahigh vacuum pressure conditions, full combustion to CO 2 takes place. We glean from our model several insights regarding how coverage effects, oxygen activity, and rate-determining steps influence selectivity and activity. As amore » result, we believe the understanding gained in this work might advise and inspire the greater partial oxidation community and be applied to other catalytic processes which have not yet found industrial success.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [2]
  1. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
  2. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States); SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515; 32 CFR 168a
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Catalysis
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2155-5435
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; density functional theory; formaldehyde; methanol; pressure gap; ruthenium; selective oxidation
OSTI Identifier: