5 years ago

Theoretical Insights into Methane C–H Bond Activation on Alkaline Metal Oxides

Theoretical Insights into Methane C–H Bond Activation on Alkaline Metal Oxides
Frank Abild-Pedersen, Jens K. Nørskov, Hassan Aljama
In this work, we investigate the role of alkaline metal oxides (AMO) (MgO, CaO, and SrO) in activating the C–H bond in methane. We use Density Functional Theory (DFT) and microkinetic modeling to study the catalytic elementary steps in breaking the C–H bond in methane and creating the methyl radical, a precursor prior to creating C2 products. We study the effects of surface geometry on the catalytic activity of AMO by examining terrace and step sites. We observe that the process of activating methane depends strongly on the structure of the AMO. When the AMO surface is doped with an alkali metal, the transition state (TS) structure has a methyl radical-like behavior, where the methyl radical interacts weakly with the AMO surface. In this case, the TS energy scales with the hydrogen binding energy. On pure AMO, the TS interacts with AMO surface oxygen as well as the metal atom on the surface, and consequently the TS energy scales with the binding energy of hydrogen and methyl. We study the activity of AMO using a mean-field microkinetic model. The results indicate that terrace sites have similar catalytic activity, with the exception of MgO(100). Step sites bind hydrogen more strongly, making them more active, and this confirms previously reported experimental results. We map the catalytic activity of AMO using a volcano plot with two descriptors: the methyl and the hydrogen binding energies, with the latter being a more significant descriptor. The microkinetic model results suggest that C–H bond dissociation is not always the rate-limiting step. At weak hydrogen binding, the reaction is limited by C–H bond activation. At strong hydrogen binding, the reaction is limited due to poisoning of the active site. We found an increase in activity of AMO as the basicity increased. Finally, the developed microkinetic model allows screening for improved catalysts using simple calculations of the hydrogen binding energy.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b05838

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b05838

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.