CHEMICAL SCIENCE

Progress has been made in the study of structure-activity relationship of copper-based zeolite catalysts


Recently, the research group of Professor Dai Sheng of the School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of East China University of Science and Technology, the Feringa Nobel Prize Scientists Joint Research Center and the research group of Professor Zhan Wangcheng of the Institute of Industrial Catalysis have made new progress in the study of the structure-activity relationship between copper-based zeolite catalyzed direct oxidation of methane to methanol, and the relevant results are published in Advanced Materials with the title “Atomic scale analysis of copper species configuration of molecular sieve loading in methane oxidation to methanol reaction by low-damage scanning transmission electron microscopy”.

Imaging of the intrinsic structure of copper species in molecular sieve pores was realized. Photo courtesy of East China University of Science and Technology

Copper-based zeolite catalysts are widely used in ammonia selective catalytic purification, direct dissociation of nitric oxide, direct oxidation of methane to methanol and other catalytic reactions. It is of great significance to accurately identify the structure of copper species in molecular sieve pores at the atomic scale and clarify the structure-activity relationship between copper species configuration and reaction performance, which is of great significance for the development of copper-based zeolite catalysts with better performance. However, the irradiation damage of the electron beam to the zeolite skeleton hinders the electron microscopic imaging of the intrinsic structure of copper-based zeolite materials, and there has been a lack of real space evidence at the atomic scale for a long time, resulting in a large number of controversial issues about the size, location and configuration of loaded copper.

In view of the above problems, the research team developed a low-damage scanning transmission electron microscopy method, which can quantitatively analyze the loaded metal species without damaging the zeolite skeleton, and realize the intrinsic structure imaging of copper species in the ZSM-5 zeolite pores at the atomic scale. Combined with atomic-resolved microscopic imaging and average-scale spectroscopic characterization, the structure-activity relationship between copper size and liquid methane direct oxidation to methanol in ZSM-5 zeolite pores was established. At the same time, the local topological flexibility generated by the rigid skeleton induced by copper species agglomeration was observed for the first time. This work provides an atomic-scale perspective of the structure-activity relationship between metal and molecular sieve, which provides a basis for the further design and development of metal-molecular sieve catalysts with better performance. (Source: China Science News, Zhang Shuanghu, Li Chenyang)

Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202208504



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