Structure Sensitivity of CO2 Conversion over Nickel Metal Nanoparticles Explained by Micro-Kinetics Simulations

JACS Au. 2022 Oct 14;2(12):2714-2730. doi: 10.1021/jacsau.2c00430. eCollection 2022 Dec 26.

ABSTRACT

Nickel metal nanoparticles are intensively researched for the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide. They are commercially explored in the so-called power-to-methane application in which renewably resourced H2 reacts with CO2 to produce CH4, which is better known as the Sabatier reaction. Previous work has shown that this reaction is structure-sensitive. For instance, Ni/SiO2 catalysts reveal a maximum performance when nickel metal nanoparticles of ∼2-3 nm are used. Particularly important to a better understanding of the structure sensitivity of the Sabatier reaction over nickel-based catalysts is to understand all relevant elementary reaction steps over various nickel metal facets because this will tell as to which type of nickel facets and which elementary reaction steps are crucial for designing an efficient nickel-based methanation catalyst. In this work, we have determined by density functional theory (DFT) calculations and micro-kinetics modeling (MKM) simulations that the two terrace facets Ni(111) and Ni(100) and the stepped facet Ni(211) barely show any activity in CO2 methanation. The stepped facet Ni(110) turned out to be the most effective in CO2 methanation. Herein, it was found that the dominant kinetic route corresponds to a combination of the carbide and formate reaction pathways. It was found that the dissociation of H2CO* toward CH2* and O* is the most critical elementary reaction step on this Ni(110) facet. The calculated activity of a range of Wulff-constructed nickel metal nanoparticles, accounting for varying ratios of the different facets and undercoordinated atoms exposed, reveals the same trend of activity-versus-nanoparticle size, as was observed in previous experimental work from our research group, thereby providing an explanation for the structure-sensitive nature of the Sabatier reaction.

PMID:36590272 | PMC:PMC9795468 | DOI:10.1021/jacsau.2c00430

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