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Title: Methanol synthesis on ZnO(0001{sup ¯}). IV. Reaction mechanisms and electronic structure

Methanol synthesis from CO and H{sub 2} over ZnO, which requires high temperatures and high pressures giving rise to a complex interplay of physical and chemical processes over this heterogeneous catalyst surface, is investigated using ab initio simulations. The redox properties of the surrounding gas phase are known to directly impact on the catalyst properties and thus, set the overall catalytic reactivity of this easily reducible oxide material. In Paper III of our series [J. Kiss, J. Frenzel, N. N. Nair, B. Meyer, and D. Marx, J. Chem. Phys. 134, 064710 (2011)] we have qualitatively shown that for the partially hydroxylated and defective ZnO(0001{sup ¯}) surface there exists an intricate network of surface chemical reactions. In the present study, we employ advanced molecular dynamics techniques to resolve in detail this reaction network in terms of elementary steps on the defective surface, which is in stepwise equilibrium with the gas phase. The two individual reduction steps were investigated by ab initio metadynamics sampling of free energy landscapes in three-dimensional reaction subspaces. By also sampling adsorption and desorption processes and thus molecular species that are in the gas phase but close to the surface, our approach successfully generated several alternative pathways ofmore » methanol synthesis. The obtained results suggest an Eley-Rideal mechanism for both reduction steps, thus involving “near-surface” molecules from the gas phase, to give methanol preferentially over a strongly reduced catalyst surface, while important side reactions are of Langmuir-Hinshelwood type. Catalyst re-reduction by H{sub 2} stemming from the gas phase is a crucial process after each reduction step in order to maintain the catalyst's activity toward methanol formation and to close the catalytic cycle in some reaction channels. Furthermore, the role of oxygen vacancies, side reactions, and spectator species is investigated and mechanistic details are discussed based on extensive electronic structure analysis.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Lehrstuhl für Theoretische Chemie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22308245
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ADSORPTION; CARBON MONOXIDE; CATALYSTS; DESORPTION; ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE; FREE ENERGY; METHANOL; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; MOLECULES; OXYGEN; REACTION KINETICS; REACTIVITY; REDUCTION; SIMULATION; SURFACES; SYNTHESIS; VACANCIES; ZINC OXIDES