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In situ characterization of Cu–Fe–O x catalyst for water–gas shift reaction

Hou, Mengning, Ma, Lingjuan, Ma, Hongbin, Yue, Mingbo
Journal of materials science 2018 v.53 no.2 pp. 1065-1075
X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, catalysts, coprecipitation, cupric oxide, ferric oxide, nanoparticles, temperature, transmission electron microscopes
Cu–Fe–O catalyst consisting of α-Fe₂O₃ with supported CuO nanoparticles was prepared through co-precipitation. Integrated analyses of surface and bulk of the catalyst particles showed that it consists of α-Fe₂O₃ with supported CuO nanoparticles. The supported CuO can be reduced to metallic Cu at a temperature of 100–150 °C with a following transformation of α-Fe₂O₃ to Fe₃O₄ at a temperature of 150–200 °C. The composition of Cu/Fe₃O₄ was identified by in situ X-ray diffraction, high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscope and ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectrometer. The formed Cu/Fe₃O₄ exhibits high activity for water–gas shift reaction in the temperature range of 180–250 °C. Activation barrier of WGS on Cu/Fe₃O₄ is lower than Cu/Al₂O₃ by 10–15 kJ/mol, suggesting that Fe₃O₄ participates into the WGS in the low-temperature range. Ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies show that the active surface phase during WGS consists of metallic Cu nanoparticles and Fe₃O₄ nanoparticles.