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Investigations into the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide and CO oxidation using precious metal catalysts

Freakley, Simon James 2012. Investigations into the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide and CO oxidation using precious metal catalysts. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide from molecular hydrogen and oxygen represents an attractive atom efficient alternative to the current industrial auto-oxidation process which relies on the sequential oxidation and reduction of an anthraquinone. The first and most widely studied catalysts for this reaction were palladium based however over-hydrogenation of the synthesised hydrogen peroxide is a problem. Recent advances demonstrate that the addition of gold to the catalyst has been shown to significantly improve the productivity of the catalysts by suppressing the hydrogenation and decomposition activity. The work in this thesis shows that tin can be used as a catalyst additive as a direct replacement for gold by a simple impregnation method. By tuning the heat treatments of these bimetallic tin-palladium catalysts it was possible to switch off the competing hydrogenation and decomposition reactions. The construction of a small scale flow system has allowed the independent study of reaction variables and the determination of global kinetics and rate constants for the synthesis and subsequent reactions. It was shown that in a flow system it was the decomposition reaction that had a greater limiting effect on the production of hydrogen peroxide than the hydrogenation reaction. A study was also carried out into CO oxidation using gold / iron oxide catalyst prepared in Cardiff and by Prof. Haruta’s group in Tokyo. These catalysts underwent extensive tests to try and identify the active species of the catalyst. Detailed testing and STEM characterisation of the samples identified the possibility of different mechanisms operating at different temperatures and no correlation between the nanoparticle population and activity at sub ambient temperature could be made which challenges the hypothesis that nanoparticles are the most active species and that sub nanometer clusters may be the active species at low temperatures.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Chemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Funders: Greywater
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:57

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