Cleaner exhaust gases

Teams from The Netherlands, France and Sweden have studied the structure of the surface of a catalyst used to clean vehicle exhaust gases to understand the process taking place at a molecular level. Palladium catalysts are used to oxidise carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide in vehicle exhausts. Studying their active site is important to improve their efficiency.

Two different oxides form on the catalyst’s surface during carbon monoxide oxidation, depending on the pressure and temperature conditions. The team analysed these oxides and found that the highest carbon dioxide production occurred when an oxide phase was present on the Pd(100) surface.

Read the PCCP in full:
Surface structure and reactivity of Pd(100) during CO oxidation near ambient pressures
R van Rijn, O Balmes, A Resta, D Wermeille, R Westerstrom, J Gustafson, R Felici, E Lundgren and J W M Frenken
Phys. Chem. Phys. Chem., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/c1cp20989b

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