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New insights into mercury removal mechanism on CeO2-based catalysts: A first-principles study

Li, Ling, He, Yu, Lu, Xia
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2018 v.12 no.2 pp. 11
adsorption, catalysts, ceric oxide, desorption, flue gas, guidelines, hydrochloric acid, mercury, oxidants, oxidation, oxygen
First-principles calculations were performed to investigate the mechanism of Hg⁰ adsorption and oxidation on CeO₂(111). Surface oxygen activated by the reduction of Ce⁴⁺ to Ce³⁺ was vital to Hg⁰ adsorption and oxidation processes. Hg0 was fully oxidized by the surface lattice oxygen on CeO₂(111), without using any other oxidizing agents. HCl could dissociate and react with the Hg adatom on CeO₂(111) to form adsorbed Hg–Cl or Cl–Hg–Cl groups, which promoted the desorption of oxidized Hg and prevented CeO₂ catalyst deactivation. In contrast, O–H and H–O–H groups formed during HCl adsorption consumed the active surface oxygen and prohibited Hg oxidation. The consumed surface oxygen was replenished by adding O₂ into the flue gas. We proposed that oxidized Hg desorption and maintenance of sufficient active surface oxygen were the rate-determining steps of Hg⁰ removal on CeO₂-based catalysts. We believe that our thorough understanding and new insights into the mechanism of the Hg⁰ removal process will help provide guidelines for developing novel CeO₂-based catalysts and enhance the Hg⁰ removal efficiency.