The Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry performs fundamental research in the area of heterogeneous catalysis and aims to develop catalysts based on mechanistic insight. The scientific challenge is the elucidation of the reactions on the atomic level and their interplay with the complex surface chemistry of heterogeneous catalysts, which usually consist of many phases and components, often present as nanoparticles or as X-ray amorphous layers.

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Catalytic Carbon Monoxide Oxidation over Potassium-Doped Manganese Dioxide Nanoparticles Synthesized by Spray Drying

Manganese oxides are promising catalysts for the oxidation of CO as well as the removal of volatile organic compounds from exhaust gases because of their structural versatility and their ability to reversibly change between various oxidation states. MnO2 nanoparticles doped with Na+ or K+ were synthesized by a semi-continuous precipitation method based on spray drying. Specific surface area, crystallite size, and morphology of these particles were predominantly determined by the spray-drying parameters controlling the quenching of the crystallite growth, whereas thermal stability, reducibility, and phase composition were strongly influenced by the alkali ion doping. Pure α-MnO2 was obtained by K+ doping under alkaline reaction conditions followed by calcination at 450 °C, which revealed a superior catalytic activity in comparison to X-ray amorphous or Mn2O3-containing samples. Thus, the phase composition is identified as a key factor for the catalytic activity of manganese oxides, and it was possible to achieve a similar activation of a K+-doped X-ray amorphous catalyst under reaction conditions resulting in the formation of crystalline α-MnO2. The beneficial effect of K+ doping on the catalytic activity of MnO2 is mainly associated with the stabilizing effect of K+ on the α-MnO2 tunnel structure.

This catalyst will be used for plasma catalytic measurements.

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Muhler, Martin
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Project Contact Name: 
Muhler, Martin