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Alkali-Stabilized Pt-OHx Species Catalyze Low-Temperature Water-Gas Shift Reactions

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Science  24 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5999, pp. 1633-1636
DOI: 10.1126/science.1192449

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Abstract

We report that alkali ions (sodium or potassium) added in small amounts activate platinum adsorbed on alumina or silica for the low-temperature water-gas shift (WGS) reaction (H2O + CO → H2 + CO2) used for producing H2. The alkali ion–associated surface OH groups are activated by CO at low temperatures (~100°C) in the presence of atomically dispersed platinum. Both experimental evidence and density functional theory calculations suggest that a partially oxidized Pt-alkali-Ox(OH)y species is the active site for the low-temperature Pt-catalyzed WGS reaction. These findings are useful for the design of highly active and stable WGS catalysts that contain only trace amounts of a precious metal without the need for a reducible oxide support such as ceria.

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