3 years ago

Theoretical Studies on the CO 2 Reduction to CH 3 OH on Cu(211)

Ming Zhao, Qing Jiang, Wang Gao, Shan Ping Liu, Timo Jacob


CO2 reduction has been pursued for decades as an effective way to produce useful fuels and to mitigate global warming at the same time. Methanol synthesis from CO2 hydrogenation over Cu-based catalysts plays an important role in the chemical and energy industries. However, fundamental questions regarding the reaction mechanism and key reaction intermediates of this process are still unclear. To address these issues, we studied the CO2 hydrogenation process using density functional theory (DFT) combined with van der Waals (vdW) force corrections, finding that the most effective pathway proceeds along the reaction series CO* → CHO* → CH2O* → CH2OH* → CH3OH* with the reactive intermediate CH2O*, which is consistent with experimental findings. Additionally, we find that water molecules play an inhibiting role in the reaction, while H bonds and vdW forces have an essential effect on the reaction mechanisms. These findings shed light on the reaction mechanism of CH3OH formation from CO2 hydrogenation and reveal the essence of H2O in this reaction, providing a useful basis for preceding studies.

Graphical Abstract

Adsorption configurations of COH on (a) bare Cu(211) and (b) on Cu(211) with a co-adsorbed H2O chain. The corresponding reaction pathways on these two surfaces (c and d) have been calculated using density functional theory combined with van der Waals force corrections. Based on these calculations we obtain the most promising pathway and reveal the drastic effect of water molecules.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12678-017-0403-9

DOI: 10.1007/s12678-017-0403-9

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