Volume 11, Issue 7 p. 1915-1927
Full Paper

The Key Role of Nanocasting in Gold-based Fe2O3 Nanocasted Catalysts for Oxygen Activation at the Metal-support Interface

Dr. Tomás García

Corresponding Author

Dr. Tomás García

Instituto de Carboquímica (CSIC), C/Miguel Luesma Castán 4, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain

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Dr. José M. López

Dr. José M. López

Instituto de Carboquímica (CSIC), C/Miguel Luesma Castán 4, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain

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Dr. Benjamín Solsona

Corresponding Author

Dr. Benjamín Solsona

Departament d'Enginyeria Química, Universitat de València, C/ Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot Valencia, Spain

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Dr. Rut Sanchis

Dr. Rut Sanchis

Departament d'Enginyeria Química, Universitat de València, C/ Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot Valencia, Spain

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Dr. David J. Willock

Dr. David J. Willock

Cardiff Catalysis Institute, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT UK

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Dr. Thomas E. Davies

Dr. Thomas E. Davies

Cardiff Catalysis Institute, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT UK

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Li Lu

Li Lu

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, 5 East Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015–3195 USA

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Dr. Qian He

Dr. Qian He

Cardiff Catalysis Institute, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT UK

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Prof. Christopher J. Kiely

Prof. Christopher J. Kiely

Cardiff Catalysis Institute, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT UK

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Lehigh University, 5 East Packer Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015–3195 USA

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Prof. Stuart H. Taylor

Corresponding Author

Prof. Stuart H. Taylor

Cardiff Catalysis Institute, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT UK

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First published: 22 February 2019
Citations: 12

Graphical Abstract

Gold on lockdown: Confined gold particles on the nanocasted Fe2O3 facilitates the production of highly reactive oxygen vacancies at the metal-support interface.

Abstract

The total oxidation of propane, a representative Volatile Organic Compound, has been studied using gold-based α-Fe2O3 catalysts. Catalysts consisting of gold nanoparticles confined in nanostructured Fe2O3 prepared by a nanocasting route present the highest catalytic activity for propane total oxidation, and the activity is significantly greater than those of gold-based catalysts where iron oxide supports are prepared by other conventional methods, such as calcination. Detailed characterisation and Density-functional theory (DFT) studies have been undertaken in order to explain the enhancement in catalytic properties. The presence of confined gold nanoparticles on the nanocast Fe2O3 facilitates the production of highly reactive oxygen vacancies at the metal-support interface, increasing the catalyst performance. Both the development of a microporous/mesoporous structure in the iron oxide support and the presence of a mixed surface phase of Si and Fe oxides, seem to be key parameters, being both features inherent in the nanocasting process from silica templates. Additionally, the catalytic activity is enhanced due to other positive effects, which are closely related to the nanocasting preparation method: i) a higher contact surface area between partially confined small gold nanoparticles in the internal mesoporosity of the nanostructured support and the metal oxide and; ii) a more reducible support due to the presence of more active surface lattice oxygen.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.